Natalie Woodson, an educator and 24-year Columbia resident, has been given the Maryland's Most Beautiful People award for her volunteer work in fighting discrimination, advising the Howard County Board of Education and working with senior citizens.
"I was really quite honored and overwhelmed by it -- and also very humbled," said the Harper's Choice village resident, who was selected from nearly 30 Howard County nominees. "The whole occasion has been very uplifting. Sometimes you get bogged down with troubles in life, but this makes you take stock and see there are a lot of good things going on, too."
Gov. Parris N. Glendening presented the award to one volunteer from each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore at a ceremony in Annapolis Nov. 1.
Ms. Woodson, who worked as a teacher and administrator in Baltimore elementary schools for nearly 30 years, serves as education chairwoman for the county's NAACP chapter. She volunteers with the county Office of Human Rights and the Network of Neighbors Program, which supports victims of hate-bias crimes.
She also serves on education advisory committees for social studies programs and the Black Student Achievement Program. In addition, she prepares tax returns for senior citizens.