BATON ROUGE, La. - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs honored the winners of the 2022 Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards and the 2022 Inclusive Art Contest in a ceremony at the Old State Capitol. The GOLD Awards recognize extraordinary individuals and organizations that have contributed their time and talents to benefit the lives of persons with disabilities in Louisiana.

“These awards are given to individuals who have been nominated because they go above and beyond every day to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said Gov. Edwards. “Many people never understand how fiercely those living with disabilities have to advocate for themselves and their families until it’s their loved one in need of the assistance. But we’ve come a long way in Louisiana, and that’s in large part because of the efforts of those here today. Whether you’re an advocate, a volunteer or a service provider, I thank you for your selfless work on behalf of Louisianans with disabilities.”

The recipients of the 2022 GOLD Awards and Inclusive Art Contest are:

2022 GOLD Award Recipients

Distinguished Merit Award  

Kathy Dwyer of Metarie


Patsy Barrett Memorial Award  

Lynn Stevens of Shreveport


Ken Vince Memorial Award   

David Green of New Orleans


Educator of the Year Award 

Charles Michel, EdD of Gray


April Dunn Youth of the Year Award  

Garrison St. Martin of Calhoun


Family of the Year Award

The Billings-Roger Family of Baton Rouge


Volunteer of the Year Award        

Kathleen Cannino of Covington 


Direct Support Person of Year Award   

Rodricka Winn of Shreveport


Elected Official of the Year Award  

Representative Rodney Lyons of Harvey


Public Servant of the Year Award

John Schweitzer, PhD of Baton Rouge


Service Provider of the Year Award

Family & Youth Counseling of Lake Charles


Veteran of the Year Award

SGT Billy Robbins of Gonzales


Employer of the Year Award

Susan Riehn with Families Helping Families of SWLA


2022 Inclusive Art Contest Award Recipients

K-4th Grade Division

First Place- Jordan McGee

Second Place- Mia Hunter

Third Place- Julian Brady


5th- 8th Grade Division

First Place- Fischer Ahrens (Lynette Fontenot Excellence in Inclusion Award winner)

Second Place- Bailey Ann Bumblis

Third Place- Nyla Reynolds


9th- 10th Grade Division

First Place- Amy Do

Second Place- Madelyn McKearon

Third Place- Kaitlyn Meche


11th- 12th Grade Division

First Place- Teagan Griffin

Second Place- Amelie Wilson

Third Place- Tia Evans


Adult Division

First Place- Bonnie Dempster

Second Place- Hailey Enamorado

Third Place- Xavier Johnson


Watch the ceremony on the Governor's Office of Community Programs YouTube channel by clicking the link below:


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