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Woods receives 2011 Jefferson Award

5/21/2012 —

Nancy Woods, executive director of Adult Literacy Action at Penn State Beaver, is a recipient of a 2011 Jefferson Award for Public Service. She was recently honored at a reception in Pittsburgh where she received the bronze Jefferson Award medallion commissioned by the Franklin Mint.

Known as the "Nobel Prize for volunteerism,” the Jefferson Awards honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service. The program is named after founding father Thomas Jefferson.

Woods donates almost 40 hours a week to a variety of community organizations, including The Center for Hope where, as president of the Board of Directors, she led the center through an expansion and relocation to a new space in Ambridge.
The Center for Hope serves hundreds of area residents in need through a food pantry, emergency food services, a clothing bank, educational and job-training programs for adults, and after-school activities for children.

Woods has been recognized statewide and nationally for her advocacy efforts on behalf of literacy and education for decades. In addition, she has served as chair of numerous boards, including the Beaver County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, the Beaver County Behavioral Health Services Board, and Beaver County Head Start. She has also volunteered with other organizations, including the Beaver County Jail Task Force, the Salvation Army, and the NAACP.

The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. Previous national level recipients include Bill Gates, Condoleeza Rice, Lance Armstrong, and Gen. Colin Powell.

In 1976, John Craig, former editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, established a local program honoring Western Pennsylvania's "Community Champions” - everyday citizens who encountered problems in their neighborhood and created solutions to fix them.

In addition to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, other Jefferson Award sponsors are Highmark, BNY Mellon, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments.

Woods can be contacted at ncw1@psu.edu or 724-773-7810. For more information about the Jefferson Awards, visit http://www.jeffersonawards.org.

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