Community Members Recognized for their Extraordinary Efforts in Assisting Youth in Crisis
North County Lifeline hosted its first Annual Community Impact Awards on Monday, October 16, 2017. The awards honored organizations and individuals from the local community who make extraordinary contributions to North County Lifeline to improve the lives of youth and families in North County. All of our community partners, nominees, finalists and winners who were honored make it possible for Lifeline to serve more than 6,000 youth and families every year.
The winners received awards in one of the three categories: Client Advocate of the Year, Connector of the Year, and the Community Impact Award.
The Client Advocate of the Year Award winner was Michelle Walsh of Vista Unified School District.
Michelle is a true advocate for families in the Vista Unified School District. As Homeless Services Liaison, Michelle leads the school side of Lifeline’s Project Outreach and AIM programs. Michelle meets many students who can benefit from counseling, or gang prevention and intervention services, and connects them to Lifeline’s programs for at-risk youth.
In her acceptance speech, Michelle talked about the needs of students in the Vista Unified School District, telling the audience;
“We serve thousands of kids every year with mental health services…here in Vista, our partnership with Lifeline really makes it happen for our students.”
The Connector of the Year Award winner was Margery Pierce from the City of Oceanside.
Margery Pierce is the City of Oceanside’s Neighborhood Services Director. She oversees the Housing Authority, Parks and Recreation, and Resource Centers in Oceanside’s challenged communities. Margery manages youth programming provided by both the city, and through collaboration with nonprofit organizations. She is a long-time champion for Lifeline’s Club Crown Heights afterschool program that serves low-income youth in one of Oceanside’s most impoverished neighborhoods – advocating on behalf of Club Crown Heights kids and connecting the program to vital community services.
Accepting the well-deserved Connector of the Year Award, Margery praised the kids of Crown Heights saying;
“I really love Club Crown Heights and all of its achievements. It’s not hard to love – trust me.”
Finally, the Community Impact Award winner was Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney. North County Lifeline’s human trafficking program, Project LIFE, relies on District Attorney Summer Stephan’s expertise, support, and leadership. Summer is the Chair of the Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council and several other leadership positions in the fight against trafficking. The District Attorney’s office has prosecuted countless trafficking cases under Summer’s leadership and has been a key partner in Lifeline’s efforts to support victims of human trafficking.
Summer gave a compelling summary of the crucial role that the District Attorney’s office and community organizations like Lifeline fill in the fight against human trafficking. She described the trauma that victims experience saying;
“They need us; they need each one of us. They can’t fight by themselves.”
Lifeline also recognized all of the award nominees for their commitment to the community
Robert Barrientos, City of Escondido
Ellen Clark, Boys and Girls Club of Vista
Katia Hansen, UURISE
Mark and Kim Millwood, That Boy Good Southern BBQ Joint Oceanside
Museum of Making Music
Margery Pierce, City of Oceanside
Maggie and Shane Quigless, Mountain View Apartments
Ifrah Salad, Somali Bantu Association of America
San Diego County Office of Education Migrant Education Unit
Kevin and Tracy Sharrar, Sharrar Builds Community
Alyssa Smith, Olive Crest Safe Families Program
Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney
Anthony Taylor, County of San Diego Juvenile Probation
Tri-City Healthcare District
Michelle Walsh, Vista Unified School District
Kristen Witek, North County Lifeline
North County Lifeline
North County Lifeline’s mission is to “build self-reliance among youth, individuals and families through problem solving, skill-building and accessible community- based services. Organized in 1969, North County Lifeline, Inc. is a non-profit human service organization that offers a wide range of services to people of North San Diego County. For more information please visit www.nclifeline.org .