Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black Heritage Award Winners Announced

The YWCA Tri-County Area has announced Juanita Jackson as the Joyce Reddick Award Winner for 2012.

Also, Pottsgrove High School senior Joseph A. Daye  and Pottstown High School student Olatunde (Tunde) Oladipo  as the co-winners of this year's Martin Luther King Jr. award.

Juanita Jackson
The Joyce Reddick Award is presented to a community member best exemplifying the life and character of former YWCA Board member Joyce Reddick, a strong community leader, a pivotal member of the Second Baptist Church and a ten year YWCA volunteer. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award is given to an outstanding young adult in our community.  

 These individuals will be publicly honored at the Black Heritage Celebration to be held at the YWCA Tri-County Area, 315 King St., Pottstown, on Sunday, Feb. 12, between  1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Jackson was born in Brooklyn, New York, she moved to Hempstead, NY, to live with her father. During her teenage years she relocated to Allentown, with her mother, where Juanita attended the Lehigh Valley School District.  

Since then she has lived in Canada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Juanita has worked and lived in the Pottstown area for 34 years. 

Always a hard worker, Jackson has been described as “one who is willing to fight for what she believes in and go the extra mile,” according to a release from the YWCA Tri-County.
Jackson has worked for numerous companies both domestic and global interacting with people on all levels.  Currently she serves as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Clinical Development Operations and Biometrics Unit at Shire Pharmaceuticals. Prior this current position Juanita was a part of a global research and development team for GlaxoSmithKline.

She presently is a Board Member for the Community Action Development Commission in Norristown.  Here Jackson holds a seat and works on behalf of low income families in Montgomery County. She is a former Board member of the Pottstown YWCA and served as a past chair of the Racial Justice committee.

Jackson has been a member of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for 29 years and currently is a member of the Board of Trustees. 

For the last 12 years Juanita has served as President of the Mary L. Missionary Society and for the last 5 years Director of the Food Cupboard Program.  

Daye, currently a senior at Pottsgrove High School, attended Pottstown Schools until 10th grade.  He has been involved in Upward Bound since 8th grade and has been taking Saturday college courses for several years.   
Joseph A. Daye

(Upward Bound is a federally funded program which provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits.) 

Daye is described as” a very respectful young man as well as a good student, always very pleasant and mild-mannered.” 

Daye is active in band, football, basketball and chorus, all while maintaining a 3.4 Grade Point Average.   

“I try to set an example by being a good role model for the African American youth in my community," Daye said in the release. "Hopefully one day I will have people that will look up to me as I look up to those who have helped me.”

He is an active member of his church, Bethel AME, where he is a part of the Music Ministry and choir.   Joseph’s plans for the future are to attend West Chester University to earn a degree in Nursing or Criminal Justice with a minor in Music.

Oladipo sets an example for his Pottstown High School classmates by being diligent in his studies and being a friend to all, the YWCA release said.  He is very respectful of his elders, courteous and helpful at home to his brothers and sister. 
Olatunde (Tunde) Oladipo

Oladipo has been on the honor roll all through high school  He also has been in the Upward Bound program since 9th grade.  Tunde represented the high school in his sophomore year at HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference), held at Temple University.  

(This conference brings together outstanding students from schools all across the region.)  

At Pottstown High School he serves as captain of the soccer team and at his church he is serving as a youth deacon.

Oladipo was the kicker for the football team this year. He is also in indoor track and competes in the triple jump as well as winning the Pac 10 championship in the pole vault last spring.  And, if that wasn’t enough, he is also in the show choir.

Oladipo has taken several classes at Montgomery County Community College and is interested in pursuing biology and teaching in college.  

Currently he is "student teaching" at the Pottstown Middle School in order to learn more about working with students.  

"The YWCA Tri-County is very pleased and proud to present the awards to these outstanding individuals. Juanita Jackson, Joseph A. Daye and Olatunde (Tunde) Oladipo have distinguished themselves in our community and among their peers and merit this recognition," the release said. 

To reserve a seat for the Black Heritage Celebration and Award Ceremony or for more information, please contact the YWCA Tri-County Area at 610-323-1888 or email: Dawn Short


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