Springfield Museums Announce Ubora, Ahadi Youth Award Winners
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield African Hall of Museums Committee announced its annual Ubora and Ahadi Youth Award winners. Now in its 30th year of celebrating the leadership of people of African descent, the 2021 Ubora Prize honors Robert Cee Jackson as an exemplary philanthropist and humanitarian. The 12th Ahadi Youth Award honors the remarkable energy and intention of Tigist Dawit Terefe, a junior from the High School of Science & Technology.
As president of Jackson Security and Jackson Transportation, Jackson employs many community members and negotiates fees to help make his services affordable for everyone. As the vice-president of the African-American philanthropic organization, the Brethren Community Foundation, he helps neighborhood youth with projects such as hosting a 19th century celebration that showcased community talent. remarkable projects and the granting of scholarships to young people.
Jackson’s community leadership also includes the Urban League Board of Directors and the Springfield Partners for Community Action Board of Directors. In addition, he is an active member and a distinguished leader of the Masonic Order.
For decades, Jackson helped out at the Stone Soul Festival, which is recognized as one of New England’s biggest African-American festivals. He was a co-founder of the 5A football program, which is now called Springfield Youth Athletics. Its mission is to provide activities and opportunities for young people, regardless of race, religion or economic status, in the urban community of Springfield and surrounding areas.
He volunteers with the Old Hill Neighborhood Council, which is dedicated to meeting the needs and concerns of community members. And he was appointed in 2008 by Mayor Domenic Sarno to the post of commissioner of the Community Police Hearing Council.
“It’s such an unexpected surprise,” Jackson said. “I am honored to be the recipient of the 30th Ubora Prize. The volunteer service that I do is due to my commitment and my love for my community. This is a prestigious award, and I am honored and grateful to the African Hall Committee, the Springfield Museums and everyone involved in this honor.
Terefe maintains top marks while pursuing challenging courses, including advanced placement courses. She took advantage of dual enrollment opportunities with Springfield Technical Community College to earn college credit as well as the After Dark Vocational program with Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, which graduated her from high school and as an assistant nurse. certified. .
Terefe also works part-time at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, as an intern in the Cancer Research Lab, and looks forward to embarking on biomedical cancer research in the future. She participates in the Baystate Educational Partnership to broaden her vision of the medical world. She is also one of the founders of the first-ever Springfield Leadership Advisory Council, which will work to connect Springfield public school students with district leaders.
Terefe is a member of District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s Youth Advisory Board, which deals with the issues facing adolescents today, researches effective prevention strategies, and strives to empower youth and city residents. from Springfield a more powerful voice for positive change. She is a tutor for other members of the Youth Advisory Board and leads the Inclusion Committee, which has created a series of podcasts to provide insight into how people could be more inclusive and what they’ve been through. as students in Hampden County.
“I am delighted to have received the Ahadi award,” Terefe said. “I have always found people who care about their community to be impressive and have worked in my college projects to do the same. I love working on issues of equity and inclusiveness in the Springfield community and in general. I thank the committee for choosing me and I thank my guidance counselor, Ms. [Amy] Quinlan, for suggesting me. Hope I represent the award well throughout and after my high school career.
The Ubora Prize and the Ahadi Youth Award are presented to African Americans in Greater Springfield who have demonstrated their commitment, above and beyond, in the fields of community service, education, science, humanities and / or the arts.