Congratulations to...

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Spirit of Service for Outstanding Pastoral Service Award

Ray F. Montgomery

Award Description

The Spirit of Service for Outstanding Pastoral Service Award recognizes an individual who provides pastoral service that evokes leadership, inspiration, and commitment to the ministries in one’s community. Your dedication, diligent efforts, and administration of PACT and in our Santa Clara County community. The attached letter has the full details for your review. We have also sent you a hard copy in the mail for your records.

A Note from our Executive Director

Dear Rev Ray F. Montgomery,

On behalf of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) and the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon committee, I’d like to congratulate you on being selected as the 2021 Spirit of Service for Outstanding Pastoral Service Award recipient!

Milan R. Balinton
Biography

The Reverend Ray F. Montgomery joined PACT (People Acting in Community Together) in 2019 as Executive Director. Under his leadership PACT organizes within faith-based communities promoting social justice and developing grass root leader who speak truth to power and demand equity and justice for all in Santa Clara County, CA.

His ministry work began at Emmanuel Baptist Church, San Jose Ca, in 1989 and later at Antioch Baptist Church, San Jose in 2005. He was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Navy 2009 as a Chaplain. After his honorable separation, he returned and served as Pastor in local churches.

He faithfully served under the leadership of Pastor Willie T. Gaines as Minister of Education, Youth Minister and in many other ministry capacities. He was ordained June 2007 and began the process of personal ministry development unique and specific to the nature of his vocational call and gifts.

He received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Economics from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a Master of Divinity Degree from the Berkeley School of Religion (Graduate Theological Union), Berkeley California and currently a 2nd year Doctor of Ministry candidate at the New York Theological Seminary.

He is proud father of Jalen and Sofia 24,21. He was born and raised in Tallahassee Florida.

His desire is to develop grassroot leaders in ways that are relevant and transformational. He seeks to answer the exhaustive questions of life and its impossibility with the help and aid of the spirit of God. Matthew 19:26  “But Jesus, looking on them, said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Congratulations to...

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Facing the Challenge Award

Manju Ramachandran

Award Description

The Facing the Challenge Award is given to an advocate for the development of organizations that provide services to better our community. Your commitment and diligent efforts to the Silicon Valley are testaments to you receiving this most worthy honor. The attached letter has the full details for your review. We have also sent you a hard copy in the mail for your records.

A Note from our Executive Director

Dear Mrs. Manju Ramachandran,

On behalf of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) and the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon committee, I’d like to congratulate you on being selected as the 2021 Facing the Challenge Award recipient!

Milan R. Balinton
Biography

Growing up in the Bay Area, Manju Ramachandran started giving back when she was in high school. Encouraged by her civics teacher, she became a Rotarian to be in service to others. Today, as Development Director for All Stars Helping Kids, Manju empowers others to give their time, treasure, and talent back to Bay Area nonprofits in a way that matters more. The mission of All Stars Helping Kids is to disrupt the cycle of poverty by seed funding emerging start-up nonprofits in the Bay Area.

Prior to All Stars, Manju’s experience includes managing a portfolio of 40+ tech companies to raise $3MM at Second Harvest Food Bank, launching a $2MM Capital Campaign at India Community Center and advocating for more robust educational opportunities by serving as PTA President for Noble Elementary, Parents Coordinator at Girls Middle School, and Board Member for MVLA High School Foundation. Manju is a recipient of the 2012 District 4 City of San. Jose Hero Award from Councilmember Kansen Chu, 2018 Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence Award and the 2019 Association of Fundraising Professional’s Silicon Valley Chapter Service Award.

Outside of her day job, Manju serves as VP IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access) with the Silicon Valley Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals to ensure all voices are included and represented in philanthropy.

Congratulations to...

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Gene Young Award

Dontae Lartigue

Award Description

The Gene Young Award recognizes an individual or group who is a community based unsung hero.  One that goes beyond community service but isn’t necessarily in the same circle as the typical community service groups. Your commitment and diligent efforts to the Silicon Valley are a testament to you receiving this most worthy honor.

A Note from our Executive Director

Dear Mr. Dontae Lartigue,

On behalf of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) and the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon committee, I’d like to congratulate you on being selected as the 2021 Gene Young Award recipient!

Milan R. Balinton
Biography

Native of the Peninsula and was raised in East Palo Alto for the first few years of his life. He entered cared at a very early age and has lived most of his life in San Jose in shelters, group homes and various foster placements. Fortunately for Dontae, he had mentors that invested in him. After graduating from high school, Dontae went on to receive his Associates degree in Liberal Arts/Social and Behavioral Sciences from De Anza College. He then went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Jose State University. Dontae plans to continue furthering his education by attending a local graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management.

Congratulations to...

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Drum Major Award

Mary Jessie Celestin

Award Description

The Drum Major Award recognizes individuals who exemplify leadership that promotes change in one's community.  Your commitment and diligent efforts to the Silicon Valley are a testament to you receiving this most worthy honor.

A Note from our Executive Director

Dear Ms. Mary Jessie Celestin,

On behalf of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) and the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon committee, I’d like to congratulate you on being selected as the 2021 Drum Major Award recipient!

Milan R. Balinton
Biography

"At the age of 9, I was introduced to civil engineering through the lens of world-building. As a STEM nerd and fantasy writer, most all that I do can be distilled to world-building. I saw a career in engineering as the perfect intersection of my interests. And as a Haitian-American, who saw the 2010 earthquake and preventable cholera epidemic devastate the country, I saw a career in engineering as my way to empower communities to world-build. I was frustrated with the lack of infrastructure designed for and by the Haitian community and became committed to reinventing the modern day city through infrastructure development

Fast forward a decade, through a series of serendipitous events, a guide I made to activism in San José has evolved into a full-blown organization. Together with an amazing team of volunteers, we began to world-build San José. We imagine a San José where you can get anywhere with reliable public transportation. Where at every stop you’d have access to a physical booth with the San José Strong platform--to tap into events, initiatives and collectives in your neighborhood.

We imagine a San José where everything from our schools to housing is properly funded with no one left behind. We imagine a San José where everything from local government to political education is digestible and accessible to everyone in the city. We imagine powerful intersections of technology to build smart cities and empower our community. We imagine all this and more for our home, San José, as we built a family across our committees. A family that is committed to building upon and crediting the centuries work done before and alongside us in the community.

San José Strong has organized Walks for Solidarity that engaged in political discourse and provided care packages to the unhoused, a political education ‘Power in Community’ workshop, and a SJ FAM FEST live-stream music festival and art auction that showcased Black talent in the South Bay. We launched sois.us to support international students this summer, our official sanjose-strong.com platform this fall, will be launching our mentorship program in spring, and have plans to develop an app for the platform next. We also hosted a virtual queer homecoming, a women’s empowerment webinar, merchandise fundraisers, and much more. Cumulatively, we’ve successfully launched over a dozen projects and programs.

My proudest accomplishment as founder of San José Strong however is the launching of my student fellowship program. I am currently the supervisor for 3 young women of color in high school who receive academic credit for their work study participation in my program. They are all working on their own equivalent Girl Scout Gold Award projects and I am so excited to witness their growth as they conceive of new and innovative ways to foster positive change within our community.

We now have 15+ in-house committees, 75+ active volunteers, 200+ members on our Discord server and 10,000+ social media followers. We invite all of you to join in the imagination process with us!"

AWARDS

The African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) is accepting nominations for the following awards that will be presented at the 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon on Monday, January 18, 2021, on virtual platform Zoom, from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm. 

The Drum Major Award

The Drum Major Award is an award given to an individual who exemplifies leadership that promotes change in one’s community. 

The Facing the Challenge Award

The Facing the Challenge Award is given to an advocate for the development of organizations that provide services to better our community.

The Gene Young Award

The Gene Young Award is an award given to an individual who is a community based unsung hero; one who goes above and beyond community service but is not necessarily in the same circle of a typical community service group. 

Spirit of Service for Outstanding Pastoral Service Award

The Spirit of Service for Outstanding Pastoral Service Award is an award given to an individual who provides pastoral service that evokes leadership, inspiration, and commitment to the ministries of one’s community.

Submission deadline: December 16, 2020. Submit your entry to:  info@sjaacsa.org