The 2020 Women of Achievement include three African American women: Carlene Davis (Lifetime Service), Sherrill Jackson (Health & Education) and Toni Renee Jordan (Change Agent).
The St. Louis Women of Achievement Award, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest, ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and volunteer leadership of women.
Carlene Davis retired in 1989 after 37 years of teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools. She then began volunteering at the Mathews-Dickey Boys Club through its after-school tutoring program. For 28 years, she has tutored at Simmons, Lexington and Cote Brilliante elementary schools and Washington Montessori School. She also has been an AARP volunteer since 1989, serving as state training coordinator, community advocate, member of the speakers’ bureau, with terms on the Leadership Council and the Executive Council.
Sherrill Jackson is a retired pediatric nurse practitioner who spent her career providing medical care to underserved children at local community health centers. A 28-year breast cancer survivor, she is co-founder and board president of The Breakfast Club, Inc. and has worked tirelessly in the fight against breast cancer. Breakfast Club programs focus on education, awareness, resources and support concerning breast health, breast cancer prevention and screening. She also serves on numerous boards addressing breast cancer disparities.
Toni Jordan has used her own story to inspire individuals and change communities. After attending Let’s Start, a support process for formerly incarcerated women in 2006, Toni started volunteering at Queen of Peace Center (QOPC), a substance abuse treatment center for women. She went on to create and lead a QOPC Consumer Advisory Board, which lead to substantial change in the center’s programs, procedures and policies. She has been on the advisory board for State of Missouri Transformation Grant and helped create a new network of service programs in the City of St. Louis for those experiencing homelessness, trauma, mental illness and substance abuse.
The other 2020 Women of Achievement are Susan Balk (Impactful Leadership), Debbie Caplin (Pet Therapy Advocacy), Susan Gobbo (Multicultural Enrichment), Jennifer Hillman (Creative Philanthropy), Susan Hockensmith (Compassionate Welfare), Susan Katzman (Women’s Empowerment) and Joan Lipkin (Arts & Social Justice).
Women of Achievement are selected from nominations from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career.
The chair of the 2020 Women of Achievement Awards Celebration is Joni Karandjeff (Class of 2008) and the vice chair is Elizabeth Mannen (Class of 2017).
The 10 honorees were originally scheduled to be recognized at the 2020 Women of Achievement Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton on May 12, and later on September 15, but the luncheon was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the honorees are being recognized in an hour-long awards celebration broadcast on Nine PBS on September 14 at 7 p.m. A recording of the program will also go online on Women of Achievement’s website (woastl.org) after the broadcast.
For more information about the broadcast on Nine PBS, visit www.woastl.org or call 314-896-4962.