Celebration of Excellence
A young woman’s passion for accessible education to all, regardless of means, lives on in her memory in Catie’s Closet, an organization giving a brighter future to thousands of underprivileged students in grades Pre-K through 12. Catie’s Closet seeks to remove barriers to school attendance and social stigmas by sensitively providing an in-school clothing resource for students living in poverty. With the resource right inside the schools, students have immediate access to stylish and age-appropriate clothing, free of charge, resulting in increased self-esteem, a greater sense of belonging, and higher levels of engagement.
Recognizing that a city’s environmental conditions are inextricably linked to the economic and social health of its neighborhoods, Groundwork Lawrence brings together government, schools, businesses, and other non-profits to lead community-driven initiatives focused on building a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant city. Since 1999, Groundwork Lawrence has worked tirelessly to restore and revitalize open spaces through parks, community gardens, greenways, and trails, along with providing quality programs centered on youth education, job training, fresh food access, environmental awareness, healthy living, community engagement and stewardship. To date, Groundwork Lawrence has provided design/construction management services for $15 million of capital improvements, improved over 435 acres of public parkland, built or improved 16 parks, built eight community garden sites, improved five miles of wooded trails, and added 800 trees to the urban canopy. Under the leadership of Executive Director Heather McMann, Groundwork Lawrence has reversed a negative bottom line and more than doubled in capacity over the past five years. Through collaboration and its combined investments, Lawrence is on the verge of a sustained revitalization, with Groundwork Lawrence at that effort’s forefront, helping to lead the way.