This past Spring, Strong Women, Strong Girls held its first annual Strong Awards, a ceremony that recognizes the accomplishments and dedication of its wonderful volunteers.  Each city held its own award ceremony. Award recipients were nominated by peers and other Strong Women, Strong Girls advocates.
Pittsburgh held its Strong Awards on April 19, 2011 at August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh.
Strong Person of the Year Award:
Strong Women, Strong Girls Pittsburgh was honored to present this award to Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dr. Linda Lane is the first African American Women to be named permanent Superintendent. In her work, she has demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative. Dr Linda Lane’s passion for delivering the highest-quality education possible to all students in the PPS district is apparent through her initiatives. She is also an advocate for Strong Women, Strong Girls. She served as a panelist in the 2007 Fall Mentor Training. She spoke on the great work of SWSG and recognized the mentors as a positive force and role model for many of the girls we serve. Strong Women, Strong Girls views Dr. Lane as an outstanding community member who exemplifies the spirit of SWSG, demonstrating a commitment to women and girls’ issues and mentoring.

Above & Beyond Mentors:
Carnegie Mellon University: Laura Pacilio
Carlow University: Chelsea Schreiner
Duquesne University: Lauren Pitzer
Point Park University: Kristina Alvarez
University of Pittsburgh: Ashton Gardner
Outstanding Mentor Team: Chelsea Smith, Kristina Alvarez Chapter: Point Park University Site: Brookline Library
Strong Community Partner: Kathryn Rose, Campus Coach at Carlow University
Strong Mentor 2 Mentor Adult Volunteer: Katie Kozora
Special Thanks to the Pittsburgh Strong Awards Committee. This committee was co-chaired by SWSG Pittsburgh Advisory Council Member Beth Marcello and SWSG Alumna Abby Dehler.

Boston held its Strong Awards on April 28, 2011 at The House of Blues Foundation Room.
SPARK Award Recipient:

SWSG Boston was thrilled and honored to present the Spark Award to Kim Dukes-Rivers. Kim’s dedication to creating equal opportunities demonstrates the powerful impact women are having in Boston. Dukes-Rivers is principal and owner of Diversity Staffing Pros, LLC and one of Boston’s premier women-and-minority-owned businesses specializing in diversity placement. She was motivated to launch her company when she saw a prevailing need for matching professional diverse candidates with companies who value building diverse and inclusive workforces; a job she says takes a very different skill set than the traditional recruiting. Dukes-Rivers has more than 21 years of experience in business development and operations management. Dukes-Rivers has six children and embodies the SWSG value of Balance.
Above & Beyond Mentors:
Boston College: Cali Martin
Harvard University: Pamela Rosario-Perez
Northeastern University: Liv Gonsalves
Simmons College: Hayley Collins
Tufts University: Lauren Rice
Above and Beyond Mentoring Team: Meghan McCabe, Claudia Willett, Manesine Rattanasak, Erika Del Rosari. Chapter: Simmons College Site: Ellis Memorial School

Strong Community Partner: Sara DeRitter, Northeastern Campus Coach

Strong M2M Mentor: Catherine Bailey

This event was planned by Boston’s Strong Awards Committee: Deb Kantor, Chair, Carolyn Dillenbeck, Kelli Flanagan, Wendy Reeds and Rachel Spekman

South Florida
South Florida held its Strong Awards on May 4, 2011 at Florida International University’s Graham Center Ballroom.
SPARK Award Recipient:
SWSG South Florida was honored to recognize Dr. Joyce Elam. She is the Executive Dean and James L.Knight Professor of Management Information Systems in the College of Business Administration at FIU, and Vice-Provost at FIU Online. Dr. Joyce Elam has assumed a prominent role in the study of women in leadership and is responsible for an annual research study which surveys women-led businesses in Florida. She is also the faculty leader for a women leadership development program called Women on the Move, which is offered twice a year through the FIU Center for Leadership and the College of Business Administration.
Above & Beyond Mentors:
Miami Dade College, Homestead Campus: Shakia Hester
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus: Phabienne Edmond
Florida International University: Erica Rivera
University of Miami: Alejandra Perez
Outstanding Mentor Team: Amanda Treadwell, Kayla Rodgers, Jessica Laurent, Elaine Lindo Chapter: Florida International University Site: TACOLCY Community Center

Strong Community Partner: Mrs. Josephine Anderson, Site Facilitator at Gibson-Bethel Community Center
Strong M2M Mentor: Elizabeth Beirnes

Special thanks to FIU’s Center for Leadership not only sponsored South Florida’s Strong Awards, but they also provided an invitation for the M2M Award Winner to join Women on the Move.