October 18, 2019
Massachusetts Nonprofits and Leaders Cited for Excellence

June 4, 2018 — Four Massachusetts nonprofits and two nonprofit leaders today were cited as role models for the sector when they were named Nonprofit Excellence Award winners at a State House event in connection with Nonprofit Awareness Day, a 10-year-old statewide celebration of the contributions of Massachusetts nonprofits.

The awards were selected and announced by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), the state's nonprofit trade association, to a gathering of 250 nonprofit and business leaders.

Leading up to the event, MNN coordinated a social media campaign, called #MAkingadifference, during which organizations, using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, shared pictures, stories, and statistics to communicate the breadth and depth of the state’s nonprofit sector.

Receiving the awards were the following:
  • Excellence in Advocacy Language Opportunity Coalition, Boston, founded in 2014 to increase language learning opportunities for learning English, native, heritage, and world languages, and to ensure that all learners have equal access to a high quality education and professional opportunities.

  • Excellence in Collaboration Cardinal Cushing Centers, Hanover, which supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, serving about 600 individuals each year through a variety of programs including academics, clinical and behavioral services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, employment training, recreational opportunities, and housing.

  • Excellence in Innovation College Bound Dorchester, Dorchester, which aims to end cycles of poverty and violence through education by equipping students with the attitude, skills, and experience to graduate from college.

  • Excellence by a Small Nonprofit Berkshire Immigrant Center, Pittsfield, which, with two full-time and four part-time staff members aided by 129 volunteers, assists Berkshire County immigrants and refugees by providing legal, housing and social, employment, citizenship assistance, and interpretation and translation services.

  • Excellence in Leadership – Andrea Genser, Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking (WE CAN), Harwich Port, which works to empower Cape women in transition or crisis through free programs and services such as mentoring, legal, financial and work support consultations and workshops.

    Genser is retiring this year after serving as executive director for eight years. In that capacity, she ran capital campaigns to expand the WE CAN work space, established monthly and multi-year donation programs, and set up an endowment to ensure the organization’s long-term financial security. WE CAN’s capacity to serve had more than doubled since 2011. In 2017, WE CAN served 3,000 women and fielded 17,000 calls and walk-ins.

  • Excellence by a Young Professional – Sandra Lee, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), Boston, which provides education and family services to Asian immigrants and the Asian American community of Greater Boston.

    Lee has been with BCNC for seven years, serving as its full-time director of youth education since 2015. Among other achievements, she rebuilt the Youth Center programming and staff, pulled the program out of a two-year deficit in her first year, launched a youth employment program, and oversaw the Youth Center’s expansion into Quincy.

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