WALLKILL—Four individuals and two organizations were presented with human rights awards by the Orange County Human Rights Commission on April 21 for their work in the County.
The Commission looked for people who have enriched the quality of life in Orange County by building better relationships among diverse groups of people, fostering mutual respect and understanding, and relieving tension among individuals of different races, religions, or national origin in Orange County.
The awardees were:
Father Mark Connell, president of San Miguel Academy in Newburgh, an all-boys middle school which opened in 2006 for under-served students. San Miguel offers a tuition-free, faith-based education for boys from fifth to eighth grade.
Sean Donlon and Jennifer Bird-Quigley, both teachers at Orange-Ulster BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) in Goshen and co-founders of the school’s Society for Acceptance, which fosters greater respect and understanding among groups, regardless of racial, religious, or cultural background.
John Sheridan, 18, helped develop relationships among farm workers at the HRHCare Alamo Health Center and Farmworker Community Center in Goshen. He distributes food and clothing to them and provides health referrals.
TEAM Newburgh, a community-based collaborative dedicated to improving the quality of life for youth in Newburgh. TEAM Newburgh is dedicated to “street outreach” and community relations. Members strive to improve relationships among diverse groups of residents and encourage everyone to become equally involved in the community.
Daisy Vale, a Newburgh resident, is a member of Latinos Unidos of the Hudson Valley, Inc. She has volunteered her time with translations for Spanish-speaking families and has also served on a variety of local philanthropic boards.
Jacqueline Hesse, an English Language Arts teacher in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, led a project-based learning experience for the 10th grade class at Excelsior Academy, which culminated in the Modern Day Slavery Awareness Fair.
The Orange County Human Rights Commission is made up of individuals appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Legislature, and was founded to prevent discrimination and fight for equality for all residents in the County.
Since it started in 1995, 121 individuals, organizations, or businesses from Orange County have been recognized.
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