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March 2, 2021
Three Mass. Nonprofit Workers Honored for Community Service

February 23, 2021 — Three frontline workers at Massachusetts nonprofits were honored today for their commitment to community service, and presented with Light of Dawnn awards, named after Dawnn Jaffier, a victim of gun violence, which includes $5,000 in cash.

The three were honored at a virtual ceremony, hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the state’s nonprofit trade association.

Gov. Charlie Baker, who participated in the event, said, “As our communities continue to navigate the devastating impacts from a global public health crisis, this is an excellent opportunity to raise up the individuals here in Massachusetts who go above and beyond every day to serve those in need and make our Commonwealth a better place.”

Receiving the awards, presented for the seventh time, were:

Lealah Fulton

Lealah Fulton, communications associate at Boston Uncornered, based in Boston, which addresses urban poverty and gang violence through its Boston Uncornered initiative by equipping students living in the Dorchester section of Boston with the attitude, skills, and experience to graduate from college.

Fulton increases the presence and visibility of Boston Uncornered through communications initiatives, including public relations, social media, and collateral creation. She crafts narratives that redefine and amplify the voices of Uncornered students to the public, showcasing their skills and ability to be scholars, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Angel Nazario

Angel Nazario, program advocate at Turning Point Shelter of South Middlesex Opportunity Council, based in Framingham, which advocates for low-income and disadvantage individuals and families.

Nazario works to ensure the safety and well-being of all the shelter’s residents. He consistently works outside of his job description, such as making coffee every morning for residents, helping them with their paperwork, and providing them with the resources they need. He was cited for saving lives in his response to overdoses and by keeping the rules of the shelter and its residents’ safety as his top priority.

Patrick Remy

Patrick Remy, program services specialist at Easterseals Massachusetts, based in Worcester, which provides services to ensure equal opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.

Remy serves youth across the state through programs such as the Youth Leadership Network, the Brotherhood Against Discrimination (BAD) Mentorship Program, and Accessible Martial Arts. His commitment to working with youth is evidenced by the fact that many of them feel comfortable enough with him to connect with him through social media and other platforms outside of their regular meetings.

Jaffier was shot to death in August 2014 at age 26 on her way to a neighborhood celebration. She had begun a promising career in Boston’s nonprofit community, holding direct service positions at the West End House, Playworks, City Year, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. The awards were created in partnership with Jaffier’s family, friends, and peers.

On Monday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously dismissed the first-degree murder conviction of Wesson Colas, who pointed a gun at the man who fired the bullets that killed Jaffier, The Boston Globe reported. Keith Williams in 2017 was convicted of first-degree murder in Jaffier’s death.

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