New York, October 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Multiplying Good held its virtual 49e Annual Jefferson Awards Program. The organization honored the public service work of Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street, Dr Anthony Fauci, JUST Goods, DeAndre Brown, Executive Director of Lifeline to Success, Margot Bellon and Isabel Wang, Founders of Bridging Tech, and Jess Ladd, Founder of Callisto, as well as young people and grassroots people, unsung heroes who have made an extraordinary impact on others through their service.

“For nearly 50 years, the Jefferson Awards have elevated the good that is happening all around us,” said Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good. “When we celebrate service on our biggest stage, these stories resonate across the country, reaching thousands of Americans and inspiring them to take action.

CBS Evening News presenter, Norah O’Donnell co-hosted the event with Mark Mullins of WRTV, Sharon Chin of KPIX and Dean Stephens of WCIV. The full show is available for viewing at

DeAndre Brown, Executive Director of Lifeline to Success, received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service to Benefit the Underprivileged. “Working with the formerly incarcerated population means working with individuals who have been silenced and in many ways invisible,” Brown explained. “As much this award is a celebration of what I have done, it confirms that more people are seeing the contributions of our clients in their communities.

Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Public Service in recognition of his work to help bridge the early childhood education gap in underserved communities and young children. Previous recipients of the award include Marlo Thomas, Harry Belafonte, and Billie Jean King, among others.

Anthony Fauci, MD received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Public Service by an elected or appointed official for his decades-long career as director of NIAID. In his role, Dr Fauci oversaw a broad portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases such as HIV / AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria. “I believe I have a personal responsibility to have a positive impact on society,” says Dr Fauci. “I have tried to achieve this goal by choosing a life of public service.”

Kara Rubin, Vice President, Brand and Product Strategy, accepted the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Business on behalf of JUST Goods. Co-founded by Drew Fitzgerald and Jaden Smith, JUST empowers people to make the world cleaner and healthier by providing sustainable products, which reduce the impact humans have on the planet.

The Samuel S. Beard Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Person or Persons 35 Years of Age and Under was introduced to Margot Bellon and Isabel Wang, founders of Bridging Tech, a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the digital divide. “When we set out to make technology access more equitable, winning an award was the farthest thing on our minds,” Bellon and Wang said. “It’s amazing to see our work recognized, and we hope this will help bring more attention to the inequalities that many homeless families face when accessing technology. “

Jess Ladd, founder of Callisto, received the S. Roger Horchow for exceptional public service by a private citizen to develop technology to fight sexual assault, support survivors and advance justice. The award is named in honor of the famous American retailer and Broadway producer who died in 2020. Horchow was a long-time supporter of Multiplying Good and the Jefferson Awards. Previous recipients of the award include Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte, and Billie Jean King, among others.

In addition to honoring national personalities, Multiplying Good has presented awards to individuals who participate in its Media Partner, Recognition and Youth programs. Five community leaders received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service for the Benefit of Local Communities. The winners were nominated for the top prize by their respective media.

Rusty Boruff (WQAD, Moline, Illinois) was honored for founding One Eighty, a nonprofit organization helping people change their lives, after reshaping his own life as a result of drug addiction, homelessness and incarceration.

Martin Casado and Mariel Triggs (KPIX / KCBS, San Francisco, Calif.), Founders of MuralNet, were honored for their work in providing reliable high-speed internet to over a third of the country’s tribal lands with little to no connectivity.

Katie Nzekwu (Rotary Club of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Enquirer, WKRC, Cincinnati, Ohio), co-founded Found Village, and is on a mission to equip foster youth with the necessary tool to achieve self-actualization .

Toni Short (The News Journal, Wilmington, Delaware) was honored for her work in founding Lighthouse for Broken Wings and her work with those affected by homelessness.

Miamie Sleep (KCWY, Casper, Wyoming), owner of Mimi’s House, a girls ‘and boys’ youth center, was honored for her work with homeless teens, providing them with a safe haven and teaching them skills essential to life.

One person received the Jefferson Prize for Exceptional public service by an employee.

Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez (Purdue Univesity) is an advocate for American farm workers and their families and founded the Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault (MESA) and Expanded Work to Provide Community Solutions for Healthier Communities and without violence.

Multiplying Good honored four teams of young people for their service work as part of Multiplying Good’s Students in Action (SIA) program. After participating in Multiplying Good’s Public Service Pitch Day against other SIA teams in their respective communities, winning teams were eligible to receive either a Bronze, silver or gold medal.

Fishers High School, fishermen, Indiana, tied for the Bronze medal for their work on racial equity and the development of the “You Broke It, Let’s Fix It” podcast which opened the conversation between students and their community.

Cooper High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, tied for the Bronze medal for their service of engaging their community through their work in organizing a statewide outing in just six days in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.

Wren High School, Piedmont, South Carolina, was the recipient of the Silver Award in recognition of their service in raising awareness about mental health and promoting an acceptable environment for discussing mental illness following the suicide of a classmate.

Valley ChangeMakers, Los Angeles, California, moved back Gold Award in recognition of their service in combating the problems affecting the San Fernando Valley due to forest fires. Through the restoration of forest fires, the development of educational materials and the partnership in their community, they were able to significantly raise awareness of forest fires having an impact on their community.

During an “In Memoriam” segment narrated by Multiplying Good co-founder Sam Beard, the organization paid tribute to the former Jefferson Prize winner Anne Douglas, Hall of Fame baseball player and Multiplying Good supporter Hank aaron, and Selection Council and Pioneer, Cicely tyson, who all died this year.

“The Jefferson Award recipients represent the highest level of service to others,” Schafer explained. “By telling their stories, we encourage them to do even more and inspire others to make a difference through service. “

In addition to the awards show, the event included a live Instagram pre-show with interviews with the winners as well as the CEO of Multiplying Good, members of the board of directors and former Jefferson Prize winners.

About the multiplication of the good

Multiplying Good is a national non-profit organization that believes in the power of service to others to unlock potential, inspire people and transform lives. Multiplying the Good fuels personal growth and leadership development across a continuum that begins with commitment and culminates in recognition. It has offices in 11 communities across the country, delivering impact on the ground where it’s needed most. Founded in 1972 by Sam Beard, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Senator Robert Taft, Jr., the organization recognized the extraordinary public service of thousands of people with its Jefferson Award. To learn more, visit or follow Multiplying Good on Facebook.


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