2012 Presidential Citizens Medal Recipients
2012 Presidential Citizens Medal Recipients
Brazelton is one of the foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development as well as an author and professor. One of Brazelton’s best known achievements was the development of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), which is now used worldwide to recognize the physical and neurological responses of newborns, as well as emotional well-being andindividual differences. In 1993, he founded the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) at Boston Children’s Hospital where he continues to promote strengths-based, family-centered care in pediatric and early education settings around the world.
Burke is an Iraq combat veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart which he received for injuries inccurred by a mortar attack while running combat operation in Iraq. In 2009 he opened "Veterans Farm," a 19 acre handicap-accessible farm that helps teach veterans of all ages how to make a living from the find healing in the land. He has been awarded numerous accolades for his work, including the 2011 Good Person of the Year award from the Good People Foundation and the Star of Honor from Work Vessels for Veterans.
Copeland founded Sharing and Caring Hands in 1985, which has served as a safety net for Minneapolis residents through the provision of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical and dental assistance. Sharing and Caring Hands assists thousands of people a month, and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Copeland, who currently receives no salary for her work, has served as its director since its opening and still greets every client entering the center and conducts intake interviews.
Dorman is the founder and executive director of MilitaryMissions in Action, a North Carolina-based non-profit that helps veterans with disabilities, both physical and mental, achieve independent living. All veterans who have served are eligible to receive services including home modification, rehabilitation and family assistance. Since 2008, the organization has completed more than 100 home modification projects and shipped thousands of care packages to soldiers.
Gomez founded Mary’s Center 25 years ago to build better futures through the delivery of health care, family literacy and job training. Prior to establishing Mary’s Center, Maria was a public health nurse with the D.C. Department of Health. She has also worked for the Red Cross, directing community education programming and disaster services, and with the Visiting Nurses Association. She currently serves as a Regional Representative to the National Council of la Raza, and previously served two terms on the board of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington.
Green Jackson is the Founder and CEO of the Youth Becoming Healthy Project (YBH), a non-profit organization committed to reducing the epidemic of childhood obesity through nutrition, fitness education and physical activity programs. YBH was created in memory of Pamela Green Jackson's brother, Bernard Green, who died in 2004 from obesity-related illnesses. YBH provides resources for during and after school wellness programs for elementary and middle school students as well as a summer wellness camp where the students learn about exercise, nutrition and can participate in martial arts, walking club and dance programs.
Jackson, a professor at the University of Baltimore, is the creator and program director of Women Embracing Abilities Now, a nonprofit mentoring organization serving women with varying degrees of disabilities. Jackson is on the board of directors for The League for People with Disabilities, the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore, and The Image Center of Maryland. She also serves on the Community Advisory Council at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, is a counselor at Kernan Rehabilitation Center, and founded two support groups.
Lehrman, an immigrant from Cameroon, is the National Director of Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders), an immigrant integration initiative at Temple University. SHINE partners with 18 institutions of higher learning, community-based organizations, and local governments. SHINE works with college students and older adults to provide language and health education, citizenship and civic participation lessons to immigrant communities. Lehrman, who mentors inner-city high school students, provides free meals to low-income children in the summer and serves as an election official, holds three Masters Degrees from Temple.
In 1972, Manford and her husband, Jules, co-founded a support group for parents of gay children that grew into the national organization known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Manford was inspired to act after the police failed to intervene when her son Morty was beaten and hospitalized during a demonstration. Manford continued her advocacy even after losing Morty to AIDS in 1992. Today, PFLAG is focused on advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Manford passed away in 2013 at the age of 92.
Mills serves as the spokesman for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization he co-founded in 1986 that supports cultural programs and provides health and housing assistance for Native American communities. Mills gained prominence when he unexpectedly won a Gold Medal in the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and remains the only American to win this event. Mills competed in the Olympics as a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and afterwards was made a warrior by his tribe, the Oglala Lakota.
Shima served as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a WW II combat unit of Japanese Americans who were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in November 2011. Shima served as Executive Director of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA), a nonprofit organization that publicizes and assists Japanese American military veterans and their families, from 2004 to 2012 and is now chair of its Outreach and Education Committee.
Wofford served as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995, and was chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1995-2001. An early supporter of the Civil Rights movement, Wofford was a volunteer advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr., and in 1961 was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Civil Rights. Wofford was instrumental in the formation of the Peace Corps and served as its special representative to Africa, director of operations in Ethiopia and associate director in DC.
After coming back I noticed there was a lack of reintegration programs (for veterans). So I felt somebody had to take the responsibility."
Fair Oaks, CA
It is the daily decisions that we make in life .. that choreographs our journey. "
I've been able to fight for the expansion of the Peace Corps and for national service to grow to the point where every young American coming of age has … an opportunity to give service to their community and their country."
Life doesn’t end because you have challenges."
I am happy for my mother, I am happy for the PFLAG cause, for freedom and equal rights."
I received so much from this country… it was my duty to actually give back."
Mary Jo Copeland
Hope isn’t just a wish. It’s a promise that nobody in this world walks alone."
I saw that there was a need to assist our veterans with disabilities, whether they just returned from Afghanistan or if it was a WW II vet."
Pamela Green Jackson
I wanted to do something to educate the kids in our community."
I wouldn’t be here today without the support of … the millions of other people who do this work, but don’t often get recognition … that’s the work that makes us proud and inspires us daily."
Dr. T. Berry Brazelton
I was nine years old and I took care of all of my younger cousins…I decided at that age I wanted to be a pediatrician."
I accept it for the young post-WW II Japanese Americans who now can compete…on a level playing field for the greatness of America."