Charlotte, NC – More than 100 residents and community leaders came together for the City of Charlotte’s 2019 Neighborhood Leadership Awards on Tuesday, April 23. Attendees celebrated their valuable contributions to the Charlotte community and connected with fellow residents and organizations that are passionate about working together to help make Charlotte a better place for all.
Nearly 70 neighborhoods, individuals, nonprofits, and businesses were recognized by the City of Charlotte for making a positive impact on our neighborhoods in 2018. Six awards were presented in the following categories:
• Rookie of the Year Award: Lindsey Wolfe became involved in the Grove Park Neighborhood board as the Vice President. She worked with CDOT to lower speed limits and started a “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” campaign in the community. She also coordinated the first Halloween Crawl for the neighborhood and will lead a Paint the Pavement project this month.
• Community Volunteer of the Year: Cynthia Harrison, a longtime resident and now president of historic Camp Greene, helped organize the wildly successful Centennial Celebration for the neighborhood. The Paint the Pavement Westside Community project, the first of its kind on the west side, was hosted by Cynthia’s nonprofit, Health Empowerment Renewal. She also was one of eight community and business leaders selected by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to participate in a 2018 National Conference for the Community Leadership Institute.
• Neighborhood Organization of the Year: Grove Park Neighborhood has invested more than $50,000 in public art, and has over 70 volunteer positions on various committees. They host tutoring programs, a Spring Garden tour and plant sale, and worked with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to develop the new Delta Creek Park. Hispanic women in the community also hold cooking classes for neighbors to help build cultural connections.
• Community Service (Business) Award: Turner Construction hosts several community service initiatives each year. In 2018, the company provided over 670 volunteer hours, donated over $60,000 to Promising Pages helping them expand their book warehouse, donated 123 pounds of food, provided over 1,000 canned food items through CANstruction, and mentored 10 high school students.
• Community Service by a Non-Profit: Carolina Youth Coalition (CYC) is a college access non-profit that prepares Charlottes' high achieving, under-resourced students to enter and graduate from four-year universities. CYC focuses on Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school students who will be first generation college students and/or come from low income families. CYC provides free ACT prep, assistance with the college application process, scholarship research, college tours, tutoring and mentoring. Since their inception in 2018, they have secured over 2 million dollars in financial aid for students.
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Mattie Marshall has lived in the Washington Heights neighborhood for over 40 years. She has created multiple programs and projects for her neighborhood, including the Youth Services Academy that she helped found in 1992; improving a neighborhood garden; providing community gardening courses; and capturing the neighborhood’s history while allowing neighbors to showcase artistic talents. Ms. Marshall has been a staunch advocate for connecting neighbors of all ages with technology training, and has organized computer skills training and tutoring for her community. She has also been a leader of the Historic West End Neighborhood Association, a consortium of 16 neighborhoods in Charlotte’s northwest corridor.
During the event, which was hosted at the Levine Museum of the New South, attendees also had a chance to explore the #HomeCLT exhibit, a multi-year, multifaceted exploration of the neighborhoods and communities in Charlotte.
The Neighborhood Leadership Awards served as the kick-off for the 2019 Neighborhood Exchange. This year’s exchange is a weeklong series of events (April 23-30) called NEXweek, which encourages community leaders and residents to connect with one another, learn about available resources, and put local projects into action next week, next month, and next year for their neighborhoods.
To learn more about the winners and nominees and the great work they’ve done to strengthen our neighborhoods, please visit charlottenc.gov/nex.