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The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced the winners of the Burlington County Advisory Council on Women’s Annual Outstanding Women of Burlington County Awards.
“The Outstanding Women Awards are a great way recognize and applaud the women in our area that contribute to the community through their exceptional leadership, dedication, and inspiring achievements,” stated Freeholder Linda Hughes. “These remarkable women of all ages and of diverse cultures and roles have made tremendous impacts on their communities and are role models for all of Burlington County.”
The winners have been chosen from several areas of exceptional service. In addition to the awards being presented, three local students will also receive scholarships in the amount of $1000 each. They will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, March 30 at The Merion Caterers in Cinnaminson. The banquet provides a forum to explore and learn more about the often-unpublicized activities of the award recipients.
Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by contacting Melissa Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (609) 265-3120.
Scheduled to receive awards in the following categories are:
Mentorship – Lucienne “Lucy” Beard
Lucienne Beard has been involved at the Alice Paul Institute (API) since 1994, first as a volunteer and board member and later as a member of the non-profit’s first professional staff. From 2000-2007 she was API’s Program Director, establishing the interpretive story for public visitation at Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s home, a National Historic Landmark in Mt. Laurel, and creating the Alice Paul Leadership Program for girls. Today, those programs serve students throughout southern New Jersey, using the example of successful women leaders from the past and present to teach and inspire today’s young women to pursue leadership into the future.
Lucy has been the Executive Director at the Alice Paul Institute since 2012 and oversees API’s operations and strategic direction, including the maintenance of Paulsdale, adult and school programs, raising awareness of Alice Paul’s life and work, and advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment. She has lectured on Alice Paul and her place in women’s history across the country.
Recently, Lucy was named one of South Jersey Magazine’s “20 Super Women,” and “Woman of the Year” by South Jersey Family Magazines. She was spotlighted in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Social Capital” feature and its annual “The $1 Billion Question”. She has served on the Board of Directors for several of the region’s nonprofits. Lucy earned a B.S. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and an M.A. in American History from Rutgers University. She lives a short distance from Paulsdale in Mt. Laurel.
Volunteerism – Dorothy Collins
Dorothy Collins is currently an active member of the Delaware Valley Baptist Church. She has served on the Women’s Ministry, is a Decision Counselor, Co-Director of the Sunday School, Director of the Vacation Bible School and she is a teacher. Her faith experiences influenced her to attend and graduate from the Center for Urban Theological Studies in Philadelphia, which further enhanced her passion and concern for helping people.
The loss of Dorothy’s father and four uncles personally connects her to the fight against cancer. She has since maintained the motivation to provide cancer education to as many people as possible by speaking at various events throughout the community.
Since 2001, Dorothy has been on a journey to expand cancer education information to residents of Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties. Dorothy was the Outreach Coordinator for the Burlington County Health Department’s Cancer Education Early Detection Program which was funded by the State Health Department and Senior Services. To this day, she continues to take pride in what she does as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and the Burlington Cancer Coalition. As the advocacy chair, Dorothy is also an active supporter of Sister Will You Help Me Cancer Support Group through the Cooper Cancer Institute in Willingboro.
She is proud to be a board member of the Bread of Life Foundation which helps uninsured hospitalized individuals fighting health disparities. This heartfelt effort enables her to reach those that are most in need. She is also a board member of the Fresh Start Community Mentoring Program for Willingboro youth. Dorothy is affiliated with many other organizations, which further demonstrates her commitment to the community.
Law – Angie Gambone
Angie Gambone has a passion for being the voice for equality. For almost seven years, Angie has been a zealous advocate for women and mothers during the most trying times of their lives. In Angie’s family law practice, she places great significance on assisting women in navigating the intimidating divorce process. She frequently represents women who have spent their entire adult lives as “homemakers” or caretakers for their children and families who become faced with an entirely new set of challenges once a divorce is initiated. Women in these situations often times feel disenfranchised and alone. They may have to re-enter a workforce where they have been absent for years, or deal with running both the home and the family finances without a partner to assist them. Angie uses these situations as teaching moments to show women that they can tackle these obstacles on their own, and come out on the other end stronger and happier.
Angie also routinely assists women in applying for restraining orders against abusive spouses when the situation is warranted. Likewise, she also drafts contracts that restrain partners from harassing, threatening, or otherwise intimidating their wives, girlfriends, exes, etc. When there is violence in a relationship or any other power imbalances, she becomes a powerful voice for women during the darkest times in their lives when they feel they have no voice.
Both the world in which we live and the legal industry evolve constantly. Supporting women both in their professional lives and during troubling times to continue to encourage, support and mentor one another, and celebrate the successes of other women is a strong characteristic of an “outstanding woman.” Angie does just that on a daily basis for her clients in her family law work as well as fervently supporting her colleagues and serving as a mentor and role model for female lawyers who are just starting out.
Dedication to the community is evident in Angie’s extracurricular work, which involves being a member of several bar associations, including but not limited to: New Jersey State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, LGBT Rights Section and Family Law Section, and the Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of Court. Angie’s excellent work as an attorney, coupled with her passion and dedication to supporting the rights of women both in and out of the courtroom, are a testament to why she is a recipient of this award.
Education – Elisabeth White McCartney
Elisabeth McCartney has held several nursing jobs through the years, eventually becoming the CTE Health Occupations teacher for Pemberton Township High School. She has been instrumental in introducing and implementing the “Pemberton Township Schools Medical Arts Academy”. She teaches a college level course “Medical Terminology” which provides CAP (College Acceleration Program) college credits for students successfully completing the course. This gives students an opportunity to earn college credits at a reduced cost and gives an incentive to then continue and receive an Associate degree from Rowan College at Burlington County, eventually completing a full Bachelor of Science program in a medical field.
Elisabeth is also a faculty advisor to PTHS HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and the FNA (Future Nurses of America). She inspires and coaches the medical arts students in these extra-curricular activities and assists them in raising funds so they can compete nationally.
Elisabeth will soon complete her Master’s Degree and plans to institute a new and expanding outreach at PTHS. Her plans include beginning a Certified Nurses Aid program. Through her expertise and encouragement, PTHS has expanded their Medical Arts Academy by adding an additional faculty member. Elisabeth has been training this young woman to increase the effectiveness of the programs offered to PTHS students.
She is serving as President of the BMIA (Browns Mills Improvement Association), a member of the Friends of Whitesbog, and is active in her Nursing Association. She goes above and beyond supporting her community. As a mother, she has raised two sons, both college educated and successful in their careers. She inspires young people to aim to be their very best.
Community Service – Reverend Dr. Patricia A. Phillips
Rev. Phillips is the Pastor and Founder of Nothing but the Word Deliverance Church located in Florence. Prior to her becoming a Pastor, she served a full-time position as the 24 hour Prayer Coordinator, Youth Bible School Teacher, Adult Bible School Teacher and Church Coordinator for over 90 ministries. She would later receive her Doctorate in Divinity.
Throughout her life, because of her love for people particularly single mothers, she opened her home to young girls with and without children who were homeless. She would feed them, clothe them, and assist in teaching them skills such as cooking, sewing and cleaning. She has and continues to minister to men and women in state prisons, shelter homes and door to door ministering the gospel.
As a Pastor, she has established a Social Service Department with the food bank of New Jersey to feed those who are in need and has donated to the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, cancer facilities, homeless shelters and group homes in the community. She has recently created the World Covenant Fellowship of churches to assist Pastors and their congregations biblically, financially and within the corporate world. Rev. Phillips has been instrumental in teaching seminars, mentoring programs and one on one consultations helping women to be strong and know their worth.
Olayemi Abiona – Celeste Arties Outstanding Student Award & Scholarship Recipient
Florence Township Memorial High School
Olayemi Abiona is a bright, well-rounded Senior at Florence Township High School and hopes to pursue a career in Law. Always one to challenge herself, Olayemi is enrolled in five Advanced Placement classes. Olayemi also participates in academic clubs and sports. Since her Freshman year, she has participated in Varsity Girls Soccer, Varsity Track and Field, as well as other sports throughout her high school career.
In addition to her athletic involvement, Olayemi is also a proud member of the environmental and math clubs as well as the science league team. During her Sophomore year, she was inducted into the National Honor Society and has been an active member in leadership and service activities. She is often described as “reliable, flexible, and competitive.” She proves true to these attributes with her work volunteering in her community, participating in such events as animal shelter fundraisers.
Olayemi credits her diverse and unique upbringing to her personal life which includes being the daughter of Nigerian parents who taught her compassion, tenacity and instilled in her an incredible work-ethic.
Alya Ahmad – Elizabeth Coleman White STEM Award & Scholarship Recipient
Lenape Regional High School
Alya Ahmad is currently the top student in her graduating class. Alya hopes to work both in the Biological and Political sciences in the future integrating her passions with her interest in research.
Currently, Alya participates in several clubs and organizations at her school including the Amnesty International Club (President), National Honor Society (Team Leader), Science League and the Chemistry Club. Through her work with the Amnesty Club, she worked to organize the Human Right’s Symposium which focused on the topic Women around the World.
Alya also demonstrates a commitment to her community by working for the Humanity First’s Food Pantry in Willingboro and being a Summer Reading Desk Manager at the Mount Laurel Library.
After graduation, Alya plans to attend Princeton University to study Molecular Biology or Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Humanistic Studies.
Megha Bharadwaj - Alice Paul Champion Student Award & Scholarship Recipient
Megha Bharadwaj ranks in the top 10 of her graduating class at Lenape High School. Megha has proven committed to both excelling academically and making an impact on her community.
Megha serves as co-captain of her Debate Team and is an inspiration to others. She was selected in the Varsity position her freshman year and has shown great leadership, intellect, drive and dedication. She has won the best speaker award and has taught freshman and sophomores debate techniques.
In addition to being an avid debater, Megha is also a member of the Chemistry Club, Math Team, Student Council and National Honor Society as well as the Women of the World (WOW) Club and volunteers at the Alice Paul Institute and the Girl’s Advisory Council, promoting the message of equality, activism and civic engagement. With her work with these two advocacy groups, Megha has worked on charity drives and fundraisers who’s proceeds go towards the work of establishing gender equity.
Megha plans to pursue a career in biochemical research, helping to prove that women can excel and be great assists to the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) community and encouraging other young women to follow her lead.