Award recipients

recognizing those who inspire

Th­­e Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women, ages 14 to 17, who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and working to end discrimination and poverty. Volunteer actions that benefit women or girls are of particular interest.

Alyia Ruggles

Organization: St Clements Food Pantry

$1,000 award

Alyia speaks of her own personal situation of her family being in need of food pantry assistance and how it inspired her help others at her church’s food pantry.   She states she not only tries to help patrons with assistance getting food but also comforting families with young children who are desperately in need of help.   Alyia found there was a need to create spreadsheet handouts of all local food pantry locations to give to patrons and attached a copy to her application.   She also is developing a list of social services, ranging from clothing assistance, domestic abuse help, homeless shelters etc. to be given out at the food bank.

The SLYDA Live your Dreams Award is to assist women who are overcoming personal difficulties and who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

Allison Reinhardt

$5,000 award

We are so happy to award the SLYDA to Allison this year and look forward to her ability to Live her Dream. Despite severe medical challenges due to Lupus, and a failed marriage due to domestic violence, she has managed to make a safe place for her children; manages to work 45-50 hrs as a fitness director and trainer for other fitness directors at the Capital District YMCA; and she works on her bachelor's degree before and after she attends to her family and her responsibilities at work daily.

Allison has clear goals and she has demonstrated that she is motivated to succeed in whatever path she follows; despite significant health issues, despite the trap of abuse in which she found herself, despite financial challenges and despite the responsibilities of being a working single parent. She has been an inspiration to all those with whom her path has crossed. As one of her references put it: "She deserves more than she has been given in life, and gives more than others deserved.........."