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:

https://www.youtube.com/@governorsofficeofcommunity7474

 

For more information please email: disability.affairs@la.gov.