The 2019 Dorothy Wilson Mabry Award in Recognition of Outstanding Accomplishments by a Healthy Start Participant or Grass-Roots Community Leader was presented at the January 2019 Coalition Meeting to Vanessa Jefferson, coordinator of the Magnolia Project’s Community Action Network (C.A.N.) for the Coalition. Vanessa has spent seven years with the Magnolia Project, working her way from case manager, to consultant, to the Community Action Network coordinator.
C.A.N. works with organizations (churches, service providers, etc.) in the community to create a collective impact of service delivery to Health Zone 1 to improve the infant mortality rate. Before joining the Coalition, Vanessa advised women 35 years of age and over with discovering more about themselves through assessment tools, life and job skills at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Her published book: “Everyday Faith: The Daily Duty of Dying to Self” speaks to her journey of serving others and being a part of someone’s life-changing experience.
This award is intended to recognize the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of a participant in the Healthy Start program or a grass-roots community leader. The award honors the legacy of Dorothy Wilson Mabry, a community volunteer and advocate, who devoted her life to supporting the empowerment and achievement of young women and vulnerable families. The Wilson Family provided a generous donation in honor of their mother which supports a stipend for the award recipient.