Awards for Helping the Poor

Mary Penn, a long-time volunteer and teacher in Alexandria, and the volunteers, staff and steering committee of Alexandria's Carpenter's Shelter for the homeless have received the 1990 Martha Miller Awards sponsored by the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission. The annual awards, established in 1985 in memory of the late Martha Miller, a tireless worker for the homeless, honor individuals and organizations for their work with the poor and homeless in Alexandria.

Penn, who has spent more than 45 years teaching children of all ages in Alexandria, began work in Martha Miller's pre-school program for minority and low-income children, and in 1965, joined the staff of the city's first Head Start program. She later opened and operated a school for minority children of service families stationed at Fort Belvoir. Penn also was a volunteer tutor for elementary students.

The Carpenter's Shelter has provided emergency shelter and services to the homeless since 1988. This winter it served a nightly average of 188 people. It also provides services designed to help individuals and families make a successful transition from the shelter to an affordable environment in the community. First Prize for Essay

Alexandrian June Shih, a senior at St. Agnes School, has been awarded first prize in the non-fiction category in a writing contest sponsored by Shenandoah College and Conservatory in Winchester, Va. Her entry was entitled "Mary Carmichael's Granddaughter: Virginia Woolf on Annie Dillard."

The contest was open to public and private high school students in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories. Seventy-four entries were submitted with a first place and honorable mention awarded in each category. Shih was awarded a $50 prize for her winning entry, which appeared in Volume 1 of "Shenandoah Prizes," a book published by Shenandoah College and Conservatory.

Shih, who will enter Harvard University this fall, has written for the St. Agnes school newspaper, "Shearings," and the literary magazine, "Sibyl." She attended the 1989 Governor's School for the Gifted and is a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Coordinating Committe

The membership of the Alexandria Professional Women's Network recently elected the following members to its 1990 coordinating committee: Stephanie Bianco, Gail Blachly, Ann DeMarsay, Judy Drewry, Harriet Epstein, Kimberly McAneny and Kerstin Splawn.

The organization was founded in 1987 by 27 Alexandria women seeking to support one another in their business and professional endeavors. Membership is open to business owners, independent professionals and managers in the area.

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