|Roslyn S. Jaffe, Evainna Ross and Soledad O'Brien.|
Evainna Ross, Executive Director and Founder, The Sparrow’s Nest in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been selected for the 2015 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards External Selection Committee. Last year, Ms. Ross received national recognition as a $25,000 Roslyn S. Jaffe Award recipient.
The Jaffe Awards is a not-for-profit program that gives financial grants to everyday heroes who are making the world a better place for women and children, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and self-esteem. Ms. Ross joins the External Selection Committee charged with selecting the finalists after an Internal Review Committee, including Mrs. Jaffe, narrows down the field of over 2,000 nationwide applications.
The Awards honor the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe who believes in the adage, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s with that spirit and trailblazing determination that Mrs. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962, and helped transform that one store into what is now Ascena Retail Group, Inc., a $5 billion retailer with five brands.
“Winning a Jaffe Award gave The Sparrow’s Nest and our youth a platform to shine in the community. After years of hard work, we were finally in a national spotlight, and, as a result, many doors opened for us. The prestigious Award validated our contribution to our community and allowed us to expand our services in other underserved areas in our city. To be acknowledged by Mrs. Jaffe, a female pioneer who worked her way up to the pinnacle of success, inspired my journey,” said Evainna Ross.
“It is an honor to serve on the External Selection Committee and celebrate the great accomplishments of women from across the country. I look forward to being a part of the process to select the next group of Jaffe Award recipients,” Ms. Ross explained. “This Award is given to individuals who go beyond the call of duty to impact the lives of others. I don’t consider myself a hero, since the true heroes who inspire me are the young people in our organization who complete their educational goals and break through their socio-economic challenges.”
The Sparrow’s Nest addresses underserved youth in Greensboro, North Carolina, by engaging young people in leadership initiatives and developing educational, artistic and character-building skills in an effort to prevent crime and drug activity and to prepare them for their transition to college or careers. The mentorship program, called The Chosen 50, gives boys and girls the opportunity to tackle day-to-day challenges, learn essential skills, and overcome obstacles on their path to educational and career success.
“We are thrilled to have Evainna Ross play a significant role in selecting our 2015 winners by adding her personal perspective as an Award recipient to the External Selection Committee process. We couldn’t be more delighted with her participation,” said Roslyn S. Jaffe, Director Emeritus for Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Members of the 2015 External Selection Committee are chosen based on their expertise in women’s causes, public affairs, health, and education including: Helen Drinan, President of Simmons College; Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success; Paula Kerger, CEO of PBS; Aza Nedhari, Executive Director and Co-founder, Mamatoto Village (2014 Jaffe Award Winner); Evainna Ross, Executive Director, The Sparrow’s Nest (2014 Jaffe Award Winner); Dr. Lisa Satlin, Professor and Chair, Pediatric Nephrology at Mount Sinai in New York City; Isabel Toledo, Designer, and Teresa Younger, CEO and President of Ms. Foundation for Women.
Grants will be awarded to individuals making an impact on their communities, and winners will be announced in September. The 2015 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards offer $100,000 to a grand prize winner, $25,000 each to two runner up awardees, and all will be celebrated at a luncheon in New York City on October 27th. The program is looking to award individuals/not-for-profit organizations that may not be well known, but have the potential for major impact with the recognition and financial support that comes with the Jaffe Awards. For more information, visit www.jaffeawards.com.
- a press release