By Katie Key
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Diablo Canyon Power Plant Maintenance Coordinator Mary Myers had no idea what to expect as she walked into the national Jefferson Awards for public service welcome dinner on Monday (June 16) to speak about her service on the Board of Directors of RISE, a nonprofit agency that provides support to survivors of sexual assault, abuse and intimate partner violence, and their families. She came with a speech in hand that her daughter helped her write, so she could tell her story to an audience of fellow public service award winners from all over the country.
Myers stood at the podium, confident and focused, compelling the audience with her journey to her work for RISE. After sharing her story, Myers’ fellow Jefferson Award winners broke into applause.
“I know now, if you touch one person, you’ve done your job,” said Myers in her remarks. “Now, I try to empower other survivors and let them know that, with help, there is hope for a better life – a life without fear.”
The dinner proved to be more than she could have expected, with fellow Jefferson Award winners of all ages and all walks of life sharing their heartwarming stories of public service. And, Myers participated in more events with award recipients this week, culminating with a national awards ceremony dinner.
When Myers earned PG&E’s Frederick W. Mielke, Jr. community service award for her work to raise more than $4,200 for RISE’s 11th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® charity event, she was chosen out of two other Mielke Winners – Electric Compliance Operating Clerk C.J. Jorissen and Senior Manager of Utility Performance Improvement Jeremy Welland – to represent PG&E at the Jefferson Awards for Public Service Gala in Washington.
Myers is one of 16 local Jefferson Award Champions from all over the country. In addition, there are six national recipients, 45 recipients nominated by local media outlets and more than 20 schools and students recognized for outstanding public service. The Jefferson Awards have honored more than 50,000 individuals in local communities in the 42 years since they were launched by former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sam Beard, who spearheaded public service programs for each of the last seven presidents of the United States.
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