County Executive Barry Glassman and the Harford County Commission for Women celebrated the next generation of women leaders at the ninth annual Women of Tomorrow Awards on March 20 at the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood. These awards recognize young women who are dedicated to compassionate community service and superior academic achievement. This year’s ceremony also honored the late Veronica “Roni” Chenowith as the 2019 Woman of the Past. Keynote speaker, Brittany Trocher, was recognized as the Woman of the Present.
Award nominees for 2019 were Claudia Bruce of The John Carroll School; Katherine Butterfield of Bel Air High School; Grace Callwood of Edgewood Middle School; Emmaleigh Dever, home-schooled student; Jazmyne Drake of Edgewood High School; Lashaunte Duncan of Edgewood High School; Amber Hopkins of Open Bible Christian Academy; Molly Jurch of Bel Air Middle School; Shadiamond Kell of Aberdeen High School; Caela Phillips of C. Milton Wright High School; and Nia Webb of Edgewood High School.
The 2019 Women of Tomorrow Award winners are Grace Callwood for grades 7 – 8; Shadiamond Kell for grades 9 – 10; and Claudia Bruce for grades 11 – 12.
Grace Callwood is an eighth-grade student at Edgewood Middle School. She has been a youth advocate since she was seven years old when she founded the We Cancerve Movement, a nonprofit organization with projects geared toward underprivileged children and children with serious medical issues. Grace maintains a 4.0 GPA and aspires to attend the International Baccalaureate Program at Edgewood High School in preparation for college.
Shadiamond Kell is a sophomore at Aberdeen High School who enjoys serving with the culinary ministry at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bel Air. She is the president of the Youth and Young Adult Choir and heads up the Shooting Stars Choir for children ages 3 – 6. Shadiamond holds a 4.125 GPA in several honors and AP classes and is a member of the AVID program in preparation for college.
Claudia Bruce is an 18-year-old whose volunteer service includes organizing a coat drive for the nonprofit Anna’s House and raising money to support specialized vision screenings to local daycare and health centers. She maintains a 4.0 GPA in honors, dual enrollment, and AP classes at The John Carroll School and serves as the senior class president. Inspired by Amelia Earhart, Claudia is seeking her private pilot’s license in order to pursue opportunities including Angel Flight for non-emergency medical transport and pet rescue efforts.
As winners in their categories, each girl received a check for $300 sponsored by the Harford County Public Library. All nominees received multiple citations from local and state elected officials.
At the ceremony, County Executive Barry Glassman honored the nominees, “On behalf of the citizens of Harford County, I commend each of you and wish you continued success as our Women of Tomorrow.”
The county executive also thanked the members of the Harford County Commission for Women for their service, adding, “These accomplished women give their time and talents to support the economic, social, and political equality of women.”
Emcee Mary Hastler of the Commission provided inspirational guidance and encouragement to the nominees.
Mary Chance, a fellow member of the Commission, recounted the life story and community presence of the late Veronica “Roni” Chenowith, this year’s Woman of the Past, who was instrumental in shaping Harford County as a former Councilwoman serving District B. Roni’s no-nonsense approach helped bring solutions to MTBE well-contamination issues and two comprehensive rezoning processes. An advocate for the elderly, Roni was an integral part of creating legislation supporting continuing care retirement communities. In 2010, the Fallston recreation and senior center was named and dedicated in her honor for all she accomplished for the youth and elderly of Harford County.
The keynote speaker and this year’s Woman of the Present was Brittany Trocher, an internal communications specialist at Parsons Corporation, a global engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm. Ms. Trocher recalled the 2019 campaign theme of International Women’s Day, Balance for Better:
“A balanced world is a better world,” she said. “As young female leaders, we have to do our part in forging a more gender-balanced world, breaking the barriers for women and allowing women to take a seat at the table. I’ve always believed it is crucial to help women around you reach their full leadership and think of mentorship as a full cycle – being mentored and in turn mentoring others.”
The Commission would like to thank the Richlin Ballroom for hosting this event and thank the event sponsors for their generosity: Harford County Public Library; Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network; The John Carroll School; Jones Junction, Inc.; Klein’s ShopRite; Harford Cable Network; Harford Technical High School and Dr. Mary Teddy Wray.
The Harford County Commission for Women consists of 15 volunteer members appointed by the county executive and approved by the County Council. For more information about the Commission for Women, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov or contact 410-638-3389. Applications for the 2020 Harford County Women of Tomorrow Awards will be available in the fall of 2019.