Montgomery County, MD

02/01/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/01/2023 10:25

Montgomery County Individuals and Organizations Honored with Street Outreach Network’s First Martin Luther King Peacemaker Awards

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Eighteen organizations and individuals were recently honored with Martin Luther King (MLK) Peacemaker Awards at a ceremony sponsored by Montgomery County's Street Outreach Network (SON), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services' Positive Youth Development (PYD) program. The awards organizations and individuals were honored for their peacemaking work to make Montgomery County a better place to live.

Those honored at the ceremonies on Jan. 13 were chosen by staff from the SON for their efforts to help prevent violence and bring peace to their neighborhoods. Among the honorees were community leaders, including those from business and education, as well as County Government and elected officials.

Those honored at the ceremonies:

  • Ana Castillo, community volunteer, Germantown
  • Donald Davis, intervention specialist, Street Outreach Network
  • Marcus Dixon, 5th District community policing officer
  • Joseph Hooks, Founder/Director of the 480 Club
  • Ashleigh Johnson, community volunteer and Clarksburg High School teacher
  • Tom Herrera, community volunteer, Montgomery Village La Villa Restaurant, Gaithersburg
  • Nyurka Morales, Assistant Principal, Northwood High School
  • Rev. Barry Moultrie, Pastor, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Rockville
  • Nancy Navarro, former County Councilmember and Board of Education member
  • Carlos Repreza, intervention specialist, Street Outreach Network)
  • Aracely Reyes, manager, Ledo's Restaurant, Montgomery Village
  • Rosario Reyes, community volunteer, Gaithersburg
  • Sonia Rivera, manager, Texas Parillada restaurant, Gaithersburg
  • Kenya Smith, community manager, Germantown Park Homeowner's Association
  • Sulema Middleton Stewart, vice president, Community Life Programs, Montgomery Housing Partnerships
  • Greg Wims, Up County Regional Services Center Director
  • Yogii, intervention specialist, Street Outreach Network

"In a time where society is seeing so much violence around the nation, it requires all of us to lift up the importance of peace and continue fighting for peace in the spirit of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.," said Luis Cardona, PYD administrator. "We are proud to acknowledge and recognize community leaders that have stepped up to bring peace to their neighborhoods in hopes of stopping unnecessary violence. Peacemaking like this lives up to the true teachings of Dr. King."

SON works with County youth impacted by violence, with the goal of redirecting that trauma. This includes therapeutic recreation supports in schools and in the community.

In 2022, SON worked with more than 200 adolescents and young adults. During the summer, SON coordinated free Summer of Peace events with food, music, dancing and engaging games for residents with a chance to connect with County staff in a more culturally diverse and relaxed way. More than 1,000 residents attended the events.

To follow future activities of the Street Outreach Network, visit their Facebook page.

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Release ID: 23-047
Media Contact: Luis Cardona
Categories: Health