Also every March, Assemblyman Mike Miller honors the talents, contributions and achievements of local women who make our communities better places to live. This week Assemblyman Miller honored the following outstanding women:
• Janine Mahon, chief operating officer for Education and Programs at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council and the new president of Kiwanis Club of Ridgewood NY 321.
• Deokie Jagdeo, vice president of Beacon of Peace, a nonprofit humanitarian organization based in South Richmond Hill.
• Natalia Sasha Khan, director of Public Relations for Beacon of Peace.
• Arvelyn Batista, co-founder of the Association of Mutual Help Unity and Solidarity, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping people.
• Catherine Nolan, a member of the state Assembly for over 35 years representing the 37th District.
• Woodhaven was represented by Amelia Joseph, Parent-Teacher Coordinator at PS 97 The Forest Park School for the last 19 years.
Joseph is also very active in other charities and causes, such as the American Heart Association, Junior Diabetes Foundation, American Cancer Society–Breast Cancer Research, Donate a Toothbrush Drives, Scholastic Pajama Drive, Operation Shoe Box, Sock Drives, St. Jude’s Children Research...the list goes on for quite a bit.
She had a large group of teachers, parents and students who came out to celebrate her award. Among her supporters was Marilyn Custodio, principal of PS 97.
“She provides such a good support, not only for the families and the children, but for the entire school and the whole community,” Custodio said of Joseph. “She consistently goes beyond what is expected of anyone. She always goes the extra mile to get the job done.”
Joseph is also involved with the Columbiettes, an organization for Catholic Women where charity is the main focus. She has crocheted blankets to support Birth Right and the New York Milk Bank.
She has also been a strong supporter of Miller’s annual Valentine for Vets program, which collects all sorts of needed items and distributes them to a home for veterans.
I have been blessed over the past ten years to know several of the women recognized for their contributions to our community. Last year, Giedra Kregzdys, vice president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, was honored.
A few years back, Joann Bartos was honored for all of her work with the Woodhaven Senior Center and the Woodhaven community.
These events are a great opportunity for all of us to pause and acknowledge the tremendous contributions that women make to our country in fields like science and technology to education and politics.
But these events are also an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of those who are doing it day in, day out.
And when you hear them tell their stories, all different yet all the same in that they are strong individuals who don’t let anything stand in their way to achieve their goals.
And when you hear them tell their stories, you suddenly realize that all of their goals are the same: to help others.
All of their great work does not go unnoticed by those who work closely with them. In their own circles, they are strong leaders who, judging by the turnout for this ceremony, are loved and respected by their peers.
These events are great opportunities for each of their stories to break out of their circles so they can inspire others.
Congratulations to all of the women honored on Monday night, you are truly remarkable.