The next generation of women leaders were honored recently during the seventh annual Women of Tomorrow Awards, which recognize young women who are dedicated to compassionate community service and superior academic achievement.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and the Harford County Commission for Women hosted the event at Bel Air High School, where the late Virginia Dresher was honored as the 2017 Woman of the Past and Carolyn W. Evans was recognized as the Woman of the Present.
At the ceremony March 30, Glassman expressed appreciation on behalf of Harford County to all of the award nominees.
"These outstanding young women are changing the world. They have achieved academic excellence in their own lives, and they have volunteered countless hours to improve the lives of others," Glassman said. He also thanked the members of the Harford County Commission for Women for their service.
Award nominees for 2017 were Anastasia Andrews, of Bel Air Middle School; Julia Angkeow, of Deerfield Academy; Amari Barnes, of Harford Technical High School; Emma Bowditch, of Aberdeen High School's Science and Math Academy; Abigail Brosh, of North Harford High School; Elizabeth "Ellie" Cachiaras, of Edgewood High School's International Baccalaureate Program; Kylah Cain, of Magnolia Middle School; Jordyn Carll, of Edgewood High School's International Baccalaureate Program; Johannah Cooper, of North Harford High School; Amanda Dorsey, of Edgewood High School's International Baccalaureate Program; Jamie Erkoboni, of Patterson Mill High School; Kaylee Fillers, of Harford Technical High School; Allison Frick, of Havre de Grace High School; Tomozia Graves, of Joppatowne High School; Catherine Huang, of Aberdeen High School's Science and Math Academy; Kasia Kane, of Patterson Mill High School; Kari Lagan, of Fallston High School; Jennifer "Jenn" Little, of Patterson Mill High School; Emma Marchiano, of Bel Air High School; Sarah Meyerl, of The John Carroll School; Naveena Murugan, of Aberdeen High School's Science and Math Academy; Jessica Okocha, of Edgewood High School; Nkechinyelum "Nkechi" Okoye, of Joppatowne High School; Nia Dana Robinson, of North Harford Middle School; Nasiba Sabirova, of C. Milton Wright High School; Saron Shara, of the Academy of Health Professions at Harford Technical High School; Allison Smith, who is dual-enrolled in Edgewood High School's International Baccalaureate Program and Harford Community College; Amelia Svoboda, of Bel Air Middle School; Kaitlyn Trexler, of Fallston High School; and Eden Wiggins, of Bryn Mawr School.
The 2017 Women of Tomorrow Award winners were Anastasia Andrews for grades 7-8 and Amanda Dorsey for grades 11-12. The commission did not receive any nominations for students in grades 9-10.
Anastasia Andrews is a seventh-grader at Bel Air Middle School. She received both a Harford County Champion's for Children Award and the Governor's Service Award for starting the nonprofit Out of the Box Coupon Kids to benefit the Grove Presbyterian Church food bank to end hunger in the community. Through her philanthropic actions, she has donated more than 12,000 food items and 15,000 personal care items to the church in her first three years. Anastasia is also a member of the Math Olympiad and the Lego League and has participated in eight Destination Imagination global competitions, receiving numerous high place rankings, including first place in the world overall in 2016.
Amanda Dorsey is a senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Edgewood High School, where she will graduate first in her class out of 268 students. She is a Commended National Merit Scholar; participates in numerous academic activities including the Maryland Page Program and Science Olympiad; and she serves as the elected student member of the Harford County Board of Education and as an executive board member on the Maryland Association of Student Councils. Amanda developed a leadership program at Deerfield Elementary School, teaching leadership development skills to fifth grade students and started a scholarship fund as the treasurer of Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils (HCRASC) that provided funds to two students.
In addition to their gifts as nominees, Anastasia received a $250 check and Amanda received a $500 check from the Harford County Public Library. Both winners also received a check from Stephanie Hau, president and CEO of Chesapeake Environmental Management, for $250 and $500 respectively, to help defray their educational expenses.
Emcee Jill Charlton, secretary of the commission, provided inspirational guidance and encouragement to the nominees. Mary Chance, a fellow member of the commission, recounted the life story of Mrs. Dresher, this year's Woman of the Past who created and served as the first president of the Dresher Foundation to support local nonprofits and educational institutions.
The keynote speaker and this year's Woman of the Present was Carolyn W. Evans, of the law firm Sengstacke & Evans. In addition to co-founding the firm in 2000, Evans has served in a number of local organizations. She is a charter member and the immediate past president of the Chesapeake Professional Women's Network; she is also a past chair of the Harford County Commission for Women and a former member of the Maryland Transportation Authority and the Board of Elections.
The Harford County Commission for Women congratulated all of the nominees on their successes and commended them for their outstanding demonstration of volunteerism, leadership, community involvement and commitment to academic excellence. The commission also thanked Christine M. Sullivan for sharing her talents as photographer, Bel Air High School for hosting the event, Hau for her generous gift to each winner and the event sponsors Harford County Public Library; Chesapeake Environmental Management; Women in Defense, Mid-Atlantic; Chesapeake Professional Women's Network; Klein's Shoprite; Jones Junction; Beacon Staffing Alternatives; Freedom Federal; and Harford Cable Network.
The Harford County Women's Commission consists of 14 volunteer members appointed by the county executive and approved by the County Council. Their mission is to support the economic, social and political equality of women. For more information about the Commission for Women, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov or contact 410-638-4739.
Applications for the 2018 Harford County Women of Tomorrow Awards will be available in the fall.