I Have a Dream Foundation Award
Mario Morino is convinced that technology is the key to helping children beat the poverty, crime and violence often found in urban areas. So he has put his beliefs into practice.
Morino, 56, works with information technology to help develop youth entrepreneurship through his nonprofit organization, the Morino Institute. As a result of his work, he has been honored by the I Have a Dream Foundation.
"I believe technology can open doors for these children who would not otherwise have opportunities to succeed," Morino said.
The Morino Institute does not directly teach information technology, but finds organizations that already work with children and then helps them create an Internet enriched education. The institute also encourages business people to contribute financially and become more involved in the lives of children. The organization works with children ages 6 to 13.
The I Have a Dream Foundation, which is an educational support program for children from low-income families, honored Morino at a recent ceremony at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, where he was presented with an engraved Tiffany crystal.
Morino, of Reston, said that he wants to continue to reach children because many of them lack strong public schools, libraries and community support.
David Moore II and Claude Lonon
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has honored two students in its Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics program. The competition is designed to encourage and support academic and artistic excellence among youths.
David Moore II, a senior at Duke Ellington High School of the Arts, received a $4,000 award for winning two gold medals in music in the vocal/contemporary and instrumental/contemporary categories.
Claude Lonon, a senior at Banneker High School received a $1,500 prize and a silver medal in the oratory category. They competed against 1,000 students from across the country.
Elliott Breece, a senior at Banneker High School, received a special award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the computer science category.
He won a trip to NASA's headquarters in Edwards, Calif., where he will get to present his project.
Freeman Tilden Award Nominee
The National Park Service has named Alyssa Baltrus as the National Capital Region nominee for the 1999 Freeman Tilden award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in interpretation and education.
Baltrus, of Yorktown, Va., who works as a park ranger at Rock Creek Park in Washington, received an inscribed plaque and a framed lithograph. In addition, she received a $1,000 cash award and a two-year membership to the National Parks Conservation Association.
Baltrus won the nomination for her development of an urban environmental education program, which is designed to help children understand their place in the natural world and develop empathy for wildlife and a love for park and natural areas. Through this project Baltrus has found ways to make park resources relevant and accessible to inner-city youths and teachers.
Urban League Awards
Thirteen middle school and high school students were honored by the Greater Washington Urban League for their outstanding personal achievement, leadership and/or community service.
The students were honored at the league's fourth Annual Parent Expo, where families in the community had the opportunity to see examples of the students' work.
The following students were recognized in the category of academic achievement: Carlos Coleman of Charles Hart Middle School, Sean Hardy of P.R. Harris Education Center, Lakeda Martin of Anacostia High School, Joseph Paire of Friendly High School.
For personal achievement: Tania Bond of Kramer Middle School, Tameka Davis of Ballou Senior High School, Diana Gottschalk of MacFarland Middle School, Shayna Hood of Paul Junior High School, and Jacquida D. Kebe and Rasheda M. Simon of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.
For community service and leadership: Cesar Aviles of Bell Multicultural High School, Chris Jackson of Wilson High School, and Christopher Robinson of the School Without Walls High School.
4th District Police Awards
The 4th Police District, which covers Northwest Washington neighborhoods including Columbia Heights and Petworth, honored officers and citizens for service at its annual awards dinner last Friday.
Lt. Alvin Brown and Officer Juanita B. Best received the Commander's Award, and Officer Medgar A. Webster won the Brian T. Gibson Award. Both awards were the top honors given to officers for commitment to the community and excellence in fighting crime.
Other police officers honored included: Lt. Regis Bryant, Investigator Ernest Grant, Capt. Willie F. Johnson Jr., Officer James M. Lucas, Sgt. Jeffrey N. Parker and Arthur Richardson Jr.
Officers cited for outstanding work in individual police service areas were: Patrick Hemphill, Gregory G. Jackson, Collis V. Timlick, Michael Pratt, George Gray, Warren K. Randall, Brett A. Parson, Sharon R. Wilson, Juan M. Burford, Stephen B. Keirn, Jasper Jackson, Michael J. Lawrence, Toussaint M. Wallace and Michael A. Proctor.
Carlos Bright, who has alerted police about businesses operating without a license, received the Chairman's Award. Yvonne Prillman, Rosie Moore and Doretha Cavanaugh were named crossing guards of the year.
Lura Bradfield Foundation
The Lura Bradfield Foundation, which provides scholarships to women and assistance to women who have been victims of abuse has awarded three university students with academic awards of $12,500 each. Jennifer Tkacz and Julie Pezzino of American University and Amy Beal of George Washington University all received scholarships for their academic achievement.
District of Columbia Award for Customer Service
The District of Columbia received the American Public Human Services Association Annual State Award from the United States Department of Agriculture for providing a customer-friendly design for its telecommunications system. The city was honored for the Department of Human Services' food stamp and assistance telephone system. The system was cited for providing clear bilingual messages in English and Spanish, for informing customers with convenient neighborhood service centers and for providing recorded information 24 hours a day.
CAPTION: Mario Morino received an award from the I Have a Dream Foundation for the work his nonprofit institute does in helping inner-city youths learn technology.