The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship Award takes into account a player’s tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors. Just as Arthur Ashe was a great player and humanitarian, this award (which dates to 1984) recognizes players who excelled on and off the court during their college careers. Sportsmanship, leadership and character are also important criteria.
NCAA Division I Men
Ryan Thacher, Stanford
NCAA Division I Women
Caroline Newman, Charleston
NCAA Division II Men
Tyler McCullough, West Liberty
NCAA Division II Women
Kara Murphy, Bentley
NCAA Division III Men
Will Petrie, Williams
NCAA Division III Women
Cze-Ja Tam, Carnegie Mellon
David Spennare, Embry-Riddle
Jordan Kimura, Concordia-Irvine
Junior/Community College Men
Simon Bardell, Meridian CC
Junior/Community College Women
Gienna Gonnella, Santa Rosa JC
Click here for complete listing of 2012 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award winners and the 2012 ITA All-Star Team.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. In August the national winners are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium. This award which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JuCo men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
NCAA Division I Men
Vahid Mirzadeh, Florida State
NCAA Division I Women
Amy Zhang, Rutgers University
NCAA Division II Men
Agnel Gladwin-Peter, BYU-Hawaii
NCAA Division II Women
Cheryl Martin, Bentley University
NCAA Division III Men
Michael Rardon, DePauw University
NCAA Division III Women
Kristin Cobb, Denison University
Bartos Micher, Union College
Danielle Calbeck, Biola University
Junior/Community College Men
Cade Sherman, Jones County Junior College
Junior/Community College Women
Gabriela Rodriguez, Pima Community College
One of the most important programs of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS is the International Healthcare Worker Training Program. Arthur Ashe always referred to himself as a Citizen of the World and this program embodies that idea. Every year eight physicians involved with HIV/AIDS work from countries all around the world are brought to New York City for a four-week program about clinical management of HIV/AIDS. The physicians tend to be selected from countries and areas that have been particularly hard hit by the AIDS epidemic.
With airfare and housing provided for by the AAEDA, the fellows embark on programming around the city at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and other HIV units around New York City. After completion, fellows return to their nation with improved techniques and strategies that they can then apply to the clinics and hospitals where they work. The training pays forward, both by directly helping their patients and by introducing better practices to their colleagues which they can in turn use for more patients. As of the end of this year, 98 healthcare workers have been trained through the program who have come from more than 38 countries around the world, with the majority hailing from countries in Africa and Asia.
The Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS has been bringing some of the top names in the fight to end AIDS to Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital to speak at the annual lecture for over a decade. Esteemed people ranging from Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist who also works as a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and was the former Director of the United Nations Millennium Project Millennium Development Goals to Dr. Helene Gayle, who is the President and CEO of CARE, an organization fighting global poverty, and previously headed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Gates Foundation and current serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
In 2008, the lecture was renamed the Arthur Ashe Endowment-Christopher L. Barley M.D. Lecture in honor of Dr. Barley, who is a doctor at the hospitals. In addition to his practice, he is the President of Citta USA, an international nonprofit focused on improving healthcare access, education, economic development and the general welfare of the world's poor. They operate schools, hospitals, women's centers and orphanages in countries all around the world.
The Arthur Ashe Endowment-Christopher L. Barley, M.D. Lecture previous speakers:
1996 Dr. Peter Piot (UNAIDS)
1997 Dr. David Ho (Aaron Diamond Foundation)
1998 Dr. Luc Montagnier (Pasteur Institute)
1999 Dr. Robert Gallo (University of Maryland)
2000 Dr. Anthony Fauci (NIH)
2001 Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University)
2002 Dr. Gary Nabel (NIH Vaccine Center)
2003 Dr. Kevin De Cock (CDC, Nairobi; now WHO)
2004 Dr. Helene Gayle (Gates Foundation; now CARE)
2005 Ms. Laurie Garrett (Council on Foreign Relations)
2006 Dr. Bruce Walker (Harvard Medical School)
2007 Dr. Wafaa-El-Sadr (Columbia University, Harlem Hospital)
2008 Dr. Robert Siciliano (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)
2009 Dr. Thomas Farley (New York City Health Commissioner)
2010 Dr. Seth Berkley (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative)
For years, the Arthur Ashe Endowment-Christopher L. Barley, M.D. Lecture series has brought some of the most prominent AIDS activists, doctors and healthcare workers to Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospitals to speak in honor of World AIDS day and month. This year was no different as Dr. Seth Berkley, the President, CEO and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), came to speak about the difficulties, process and newest developments in the search for a vaccine against AIDS. Attended primarily by doctors and employees of the hospital, the lecture offered an opportunity to hear about not only the scientific advancements in the work towards a vaccine, but also to hear about the policy and political issues that are also of great importance to fighting AIDS.
Dr. Berkley began by giving an overview of the biology of the AIDS virus, emphasizing that AIDS is the most complicated organism that we (humans) have ever attempted to vaccinate. The structure of the virus itself is many times more intricate and complicated than for instance,. The origins of IAVI come from his work at the Rockefeller Foundation researching the disease and various efforts to combat it in the early 1990s. Because of its intricacy and its rapid spread to become a pandemic during that period, he realized that an unprecedented effort to share and organize resources, research, policy analysis and advocacy would be necessary in order to defeat AIDS.
Based on that he helped found IAVI in 1996, a nonprofit organization that coordinates researchers and shares data, funnels funding and resources toward different projects working on vaccines, helps design and execute testing trials and engages and educates the communities where trials are taking place. It functions as a consortium uniting laboratories, academic institutions, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, governments, advocates and communities to approach the problem through collaboration. The idea is to use a comprehensive approach to eliminate AIDS, not only relying upon finding the perfect vaccine or treatment but also ensuring that it is available and affordable to the people who need it.
Winner of the Girls 10 and under art category is Clara Kim of Flushing, NY. Winner of the Girls 17 and 18 essay category is Grace Trimble of Winchester, KY. The following is her winning essay:
When asked my opinion on which of Arthur Ashe's accomplishments is his greatest, it has been his legacy that has transcended generations and merits the title of his greatest accomplishment. His legacy has carried on bringing with it a spirit of generosity and voluntarism that has affected past generations and will continue to inspire generations to come.
His legacy has been making a way for children across the nation to pursue greater success in their education and athletic endeavors. Even after his death in 1993, it has been his ability to motivate and still inspire hope that has made his greatest accomplishment even more worthwhile.
My personal attachment to his legacy has been formed over the past year as I have gone through the process of setting up my own National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) in Lexington, Kentucky: LTC Smart Shots. It was Arthur Ashe who inspired me to start this organization in my community. I believe that this program has inspired hope, motivated and driven children to try the sport of tennis and believe in the opportunities their education will surely provide them.
The children in LTC Smart Shots generally come from underprivileged areas in Lexington. It is my hope that these children will cultivate a belief in themselves at an early age that will carry on for the rest of their lives. Mr. Ashe's belief in himself and his abilities gave him the opportunity to achieve great things, resulting in a legacy that inspired young people of today – the leaders of tomorrow.
USTA/ National Junior Tennis and Learning
White Plains, NY
This national youth program, cofounded as the National Junior Tennis League by Arthur Ashe in 1969, teaches tennis while also emphasizing leadership and academics. Over the years, it has grown into a large organization with a presence in every state and more than 550 chapters reaching more than 225,000 kids a year. One of its biggest initiatives is the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest, held every year, where students write in 300 words or less why Arthur Ashe is a legend. Some of the other initiatives include an Invitational Leadership Tennis Camp and various Regional Rallies between geographical chapter groups of NJTL.
Safe Passage Tennis Program
Los Angeles, CA
Using tennis as a tool to teach self-esteem, character and discipline, Safe Passage brings together educators, tennis professionals, parents and volunteers to run in-school and after school tennis programs. Kids enroll between the ages of 5-12 and can choose to continue in the program all the way through high school, to age 18.
Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center
The Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center works with more than 8,500 children a year promoting academic commitment and sportsmanship through the game of tennis.
Ashe/Buchholz Tennis Center
Founded as a safe place for inner-city youth to play tennis and learn, there are various tournaments and programs for youth held at the Ashe/Buchholz center through out the year.
Arthur Ashe Children's Program
Reaching 450 at-risk 2nd through 9th graders a year, this after school program works on tennis, academics and life skills. Every day has a prescribed amount of time for homework and one-on-one help. In addition, tennis instruction is provided on school and neighborhood tennis courts. These activities help keep kids involved in school and foster self-esteem and confidence.
Founded by Arthur Ashe in 1991, Virginia Heroes provides middle school students in Richmond with mentors who help them to develop life and decision making skills. Through visits to local colleges and universities, the program also encourages students to think about their opportunities for higher education.
Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS
New York City, NY
The Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS was founded by Arthur Ashe in 1992 to raise money for research into treating, curing and preventing AIDS, the end goal being the eradication of the disease. In 1995, the remaining foundation funds were matched by Weill Cornell Medical College to establish the Endowment at the Medical College. The Endowment provides the financial support to run the International Healthcare Worker HIV Training Program, the Arthur Ashe Professorship of Medicine, and the Arthur Ashe Endowment Lecture, as well as for clinical trials for patients receiving HIV/AIDS treatment and other programs.
The Arthur Ashe Endowment International Healthcare Worker Training Program
New York City, NY
Each year the Training Program enables eight healthcare workers to come to New York for four weeks to receive specialized HIV/AIDS care training at the Weill Cornell Medical College. To qualify, the health practitioners must work in AIDS treatment and come from developing nations with substantial AIDS populations. During their time at Weill-Cornell, they learn about treatments and alternative practices for treating the disease that are not available in their home countries. Since its inception, more than 80 healthcare workers have received training through the program.
The Arthur Ashe Endowment Christopher Barley Lecture
New York City, NY
This lecture series features world-renowned individuals who are involved in the fight against AIDS. They are invited to speak in New York at the Weill Cornell Medical College to the faculty, medical students and residents in training. The Ashe Lecture was established in 1996 and over the years has featured prominent speakers such as Peter Piot, Jeffrey Sachs and Laurie Garrett.
Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health
The Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health was founded to improve the health of multiethnic communities in urban areas. These populations often display higher morbidity and mortality rates. It provides a resource for health knowledge and information about health care for individuals while collaborating with health institutions and major corporations to increase health care access.
To get a firsthand perspective on ways to pursue service, ArthurAshe.org spoke with Board member Liliana Ngo about her work at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a organization that helps New Yorkers access healthcare, education, housing and other services, and her work with the Immigrant Children's Assistance Project of South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, which provides free legal services to detained immigrant children. Working towards a career in service, she is currently in her second and final year of a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of International Affairs at Tufts University.
How did you first become involved with health care literacy working at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (LHNH)?
During my undergraduate career I was drawn to internship experiences in the realm of public advocacy. I knew when I graduated that I wanted to continue advocacy work. For the most part, my undergraduate experience involved work with Massachusetts constituents who were immigrants, which I really enjoyed, but I wanted to branch out and gain knowledge in a different area. I was particularly drawn to a job opportunity at LHNH because the description emphasized direct client services in the health care field; a field I was interested in but knew very little about.
Why did you choose to do health care literacy work?
I initially chose to do health care literacy work because the idea of communicating with clients on a daily basis to help them navigate public health care seemed like an ideal way to make a tangible impact in the lives of many low-income New Yorkers who needed health care services. My work as a health care advocate was incredibly rewarding because it afforded me the opportunity to learn about the public health care system in the US, and to effectively use this knowledge to help those who (rightfully) had a great deal of trouble navigating the system. The more I learned through my job as a health care advocate, the more I understood that most people who are dependent on our public health insurance programs are in great need of someone who is literate in public health care policies and regulations, and who can act as an intermediary between the individual and the insurance plan/provider to ensure that the client has access to and obtains the health care coverage s/he deserves.
You worked with the Immigrant Children's Assistance Project over the summer in Texas, can you give some examples/generalities about who the children you worked with were and what their situation was? What you were helping them do?
ICAP is a sub-department of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, a legal services organization that offers free legal services to detained, undocumented, individuals in the Rio Grande Valley. The Children's Project collaborates with the Office for Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which operates shelters for detained unaccompanied minors. Detained unaccompanied minors are children under the age of 18 who come into the US without proper documentation and without parental supervision. The children detained in the shelters in this particular area are typically of Central American origin (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador), and come to the US to reunite with family members, continue their education (due to the fact that in many of the rural areas in the aforementioned countries children may not have access to education beyond middle school grade levels), flee mistreatment or persecution, or all of the above. I worked in a team with an accredited representative and a paralegal this summer to deliver 'Know Your Rights' workshops in these shelters, and to conduct individual legal screenings for the children to identify those who may be good candidates for legal relief.
What were the biggest difficulties or most frustrating parts of that work and how did you overcome them?
There were two aspects of the work that I found incredibly frustrating:
The first aspect is probably a common frustration for many types of organizations that offer free or low cost services: resources were limited. We had a team of about 10 individuals working to deliver the aforementioned services, as well as (in some cases) legal representation for thousands of unaccompanied minors every year. Naturally, when resources are limited, attorneys have to make difficult decisions when they consider taking on a single difficult case, because this may mean that s/he can not take on three additional cases that may require less time and may be less difficult to win in immigration court. We had to make decisions on how many times to return to a shelter and follow up with a single child to see if s/he might have a compelling case for legal relief, because more often than not, extra time spent with one child meant less available time to do new intakes and potentially identify new cases that may have particular urgency.
The second frustration specific to this job was that far fewer children were eligible for legal relief under current US immigration law than we would have liked. This frustration is a result of legislation and the current structure of US immigration policy that has very strict eligibility requirements for visas and high thresholds for different statuses that unaccompanied minors must meet in order to be strong candidates for these forms of legal relief. What compounded the harsh nature of this reality was that we had the responsibility of telling children and their families that (according to our assessment), they did not meet the requirements necessary to qualify to stay in the US. Additionally, it was extremely frustrating when the staff identified a child who they believed had a strong case for relief and would work on the case, only to have the case denied several months or years later, resulting in the deportation of the child back to his or her country.
Because of the nature of these challenges, means of overcoming them was rather limited. However, the best way that I and many other staff members attempted to overcome the limitations in our work was through our spirit and commitment to the work we were doing. Winning cases and being able to give some children hope that making the dangerous journey was worth it; that they might in fact be able to access protection and opportunity here in the US was what often kept us moving forward. These victories reminded us that despite the failures and frustrations, our successes were just as valuable and for the people we helped, it probably mattered more than we could have imagined.
What was the most rewarding part of your work in Texas? In terms of specific occurrences or aspects of the job or both?
Despite the aforementioned frustrations and many other challenges, a general reward of working at ProBAR was the wonderful community of people who welcomed me into the organization and whose passion and determination to make a difference in the lives of unaccompanied minors was inspiring, to say the least.
A second reward was interacting with children on a regular basis. As one can imagine, working with detainees can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally draining experience, due to the difficult situations and backgrounds these individuals tend to come from, as well as the harsh realities they may face. Working with child detainees made the process appear somewhat less severe and difficult than it was in reality. I was constantly amazed at the resilience of the children despite the fact that many of them endured hardships most of us could not imagine, and yet they continued to believe that things could get better, that if they just made it over the next hurdle—whether it be reunification with parents, an appearance in immigration court, or actually winning a case—that everything would be okay. As adults I think we tend to abandon this will to hope and to persevere—justifiably, at times—but in this particular line of work it was encouraging, heartbreaking, and necessary in order not to give into despair on difficult days, when success of any kind or standard seemed impossible.
I particularly enjoyed coauthoring a brief for the asylum application for a young girl who was at one of the shelters I visited regularly. As a learning experience, it was a wonderful opportunity to watch the process of a case unfold and to tangibly help a child file an asylum claim. In addition, considering the fact that my educational background is more policy oriented than law oriented, I learned a great deal about the standards and intricacies of writing legal briefs on behalf of asylum applicants.
What were some of the commonalities between doing the health care literacy work in Spanish Harlem in New York and advocacy work in Texas? What were the biggest differences in the work/location/community?
A common factor in both child immigrant advocacy in south Texas and health care advocacy in New York City was that both of these populations had limited knowledge, power, and agency to ensure that they could access protection and exercise rights that were delineated for them within laws and regulations specific to their individual situation. As a result, I think both of these populations benefited immensely to have an agent who was knowledgeable, willing, and able to act on their behalf.
One of the fundamental differences between these two populations is age, and therefore, difference in ability to give consent and make decisions. Although I had a few clients who were minors when I worked as a health care advocate in NY, the majority of my clients were adults who possessed a level of cognitive maturity that allowed them to perceive and judge their particular circumstances. This enabled them to ask questions and make informed decisions about their health care options. Naturally, minors could not do these things nearly to the same extent as their adult counterparts. Working with unaccompanied minors required a great deal of patience, constant assessment and reassessment of cases and facts, and because of their exceptionally vulnerable state as minors without parental protection, compassion.
In terms of location, Harlingen, TX, and NY, NY are worlds apart, as one might imagine. When considering the impact of the location on the work that I did, the difference in working in a large city in the northeastern US vs. in a remote small town on the Texas-Mexico border, I would say that the greatest difference was probably that of culture. Having worked in both of these locations, I think the greatest advantage was the ability to experience two polar opposite cultures within the territory of a single country. There are people in every part of the US and all over the world who benefit from some form of advocacy in order to effect change in their living conditions, access social and political benefits and protections, and many other categories which I won't go on to enumerate. By working in a single location, in a single field, one develops an invaluable level of expertise. However, changing fields, learning to live in different locations and among different cultures reminds us that it is important to remember to adapt, to try and see things from a different perspective and, most importantly, to remember that most of what we know to be absolute is actually relative. I always try my hardest to learn about the location and culture during every professional and academic experience that I have (I have done this with varying rates of success and failure) because this allows me to understand how to benefit the most from that experience and how best to help the population at hand.
How have those work experiences affected your schoolwork and your future goals?
During my relatively short career as an advocate in the fields of health care and immigration I learned more than I expected about decision-making in public policy at the federal and state levels, and the implementation and execution thereof. In the US specifically, health care and immigration reform are two vigorously debated topics due to the underlying reason upon which most people agree: both are in desperate need of reform. Learning about the theory behind immigration policy in a graduate program (i.e., the concerns of the government devising the policy and the populations that different aspects of the policy are intended to target) and then experiencing how the implementation of these policy affects the population on the ground (i.e, immigration enforcement and control as well as access to different kinds of protections under US immigration law) drove me to consider the various levels of analysis that should occur, but rarely do in practice, when a policy is implemented or considered for reform. My research this academic year focuses on analyzing negative consequences of US immigration reform in the mid-1990s and how that reform contributed to many of the problems that resulted in a large influx of undocumented immigrants from Central America into the US today.
You are working on your Masters in Law and Diplomacy, how does that degree/educational experience help your work or future work? What kind of position/work are you hoping to move into after?
After I complete my degree at Fletcher I hope to pursue a career path in immigrant advocacy. I am open to pursuing this path through two main routes, although I expect these will be revised over the next several years... Thus far my work in the immigration field consists mainly of direct client and constituent services, which I enjoy and find very rewarding. However, I have not had a chance to work for a think tank or a similar organization that is responsible for policy analysis and recommendation, which is something that I would like to do if I have the opportunity to do so in the area of immigration legislation and reform. However, I am also interested in continuing on the path of direct client services and working with refugees abroad who are trying to gain access to and find resettlement in the US. We shall see...
You can find out more about Lenox Hill Neighborhood House here: http://www.lenoxhill.org/content/home
and the work of ProBAR here: http://www.abanet.org/publicserv/immigration/probar.shtml
When we gather this month to appreciate our friends, family and good fortune, it is also an apt time to look around ourselves and recognize the abundance of work to be done and the ability we have to help. Service was one of the most important things to Arthur Ashe—he strove to be remembered for his contributions to the world around him rather than his achievements on the tennis court, and it paid off.
While for many, doing for others is a way to make you feel good inside. Real giving though comes in not just wanting to make yourself feel good but when doing for others you want to make a difference in the world and the lives of others. This way of thinking when doing good work tends to have more long lasting effects. However, you can give of yourself or your time no matter what, does make a difference!
There are many ways to give that require varying degrees of time, money, or other involvement. Anything from donating canned foods or an old winter coat to tutoring afterschool can make a positive impact for someone. A really important component can be tying your service to your own interests: if you love playing tennis, then share your skills by teaching kids or inexperienced players through a local program; if you're an artist, donate one of your works for fundraising purposes to an organization you feel strongly about. Whatever your skills, abilities, knowledge or passions, there is always a way to share that with your community and make a difference.
Volunteer: Volunteering time basically does not cost you a thing. You can choose projects that are long term commitments or ad hoc volunteering efforts. It is easy to sign up to spend one day or less - or longer depending on the selected program and your schedule. It is great for individuals or groups. If you and your friends, or even your company or organization, are looking for something to do in giving back, this could be an ideal avenue to consider.
You may search your local area for great causes and means of volunteering, or even visit Volunteering In America (The Corporation for National and Community Service). Visit here to find where and how to help in your specific Community:
Food Depositories/Food Banks: Within the United States, there are food distribution and training centers providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger within each community. For instance, in the Chicago area, The Greater Chicago Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through its network of 650 qualified agencies throughout Cook County, such as soup kitchens, shelters, and pantries. You can visit them here:
Feeding America is a national database that is a great resource to find information on local food banks and a lot of information about food based organizations:
Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is serving more people in the USA than ever before. They are already seeing large increases in the number of Americans seeking the basic necessities of life - food, shelter, and warmth. More than 30 million people received help from The Salvation Army in 2008, but the magnitude of the mission facing The Salvation Army in communities throughout the United States remains great. Click here:
Toys For Tots: Drop off new, unwrapped toys at your local facility or any of their drop off locations help less fortunate children experience the joy of the holidays. More information here:
Ronald McDonald House: Ronald McDonald House program provides a "home-away-from-home" for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. The Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. Visit Ronald McDonald House to view their various programs:
Habitat For Humanity: A nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. They build with people in need regardless of race or religion. They welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds. Click here:
William J. Clinton Foundation: Transforming Ideas Into Action: Clinton Global Initiative The Clinton Global Initiative is a project of the Clinton Foundation that brings together a community of global leaders, university students, and private citizens to identify and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges, including poverty alleviation, climate change, global health, and education. Visit here:
Arthur Ashe Learning Center
Inspired by Arthur Ashe’s proactive life as a conscious leader, humanitarian, educator and athlete, the Arthur Ashe Learning Center promotes his legacy to educate and motivate —with an emphasis toward inspiring youth. By vividly focusing upon the areas of education, health and wellness, citizenship and self-reliance, the AALC fosters empowerment and leadership in the individual and the community, elevating