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Planned Parenthood Affiliates Bestow Six 2011 APPLE Awards for Outstanding Work in the Field of Sex Education
The Annual Awards’ Top Honor Went to Lis Maurer, Head of Ithaca College’s Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services
Planned Parenthood has awarded six of its top educators and affiliate health centers with 2011 APPLE (Affiliate Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education) Awards for their outstanding contribution to the field of sex education. The annual awards were presented during the April 2011 Planned Parenthood National Conference in Washington, DC.
This year’s top award went to Lis Maurer, program director for the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Education, Outreach and Services at Ithaca College. Maurer took home the prestigious Mary Lee Tatum Award for exemplifying the qualities of an ideal sexuality educator. Her outstanding work on sexual orientation, gender identity, disability issues, and HIV/AIDS has made her a go-to source for questions on sexuality. Under Maurer’s leadership, Ithaca College was named one of the 100 best campuses in the nation for LGBT students. Maurer — who previously worked at Planned Parenthood of Delaware — is the founding director of the center.
Leslie Kantor, national director of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was awarded The Golden APPLE Award for exemplifying the highest standards of leadership. Kantor has led the national organization’s sex education efforts since 2010. She serves as the national spokesperson on education for Planned Parenthood and is working toward developing new, innovative approaches to sexual health.
Father Alvaro Nocva Ocha, promotoro del salud (health promoter) for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, was the recipient of the 2011 APPLE Seed award for his leadership and outstanding contribution to the Latino community. Father Ocha has invested incalculable time and energy fighting to improve and expand young people’s access to reproductive health care, including testifying before the Wisconsin State Legislature in support of the Healthy Youth Act passed in January 2010, which requires schools that offer sex education classes to provide medically accurate, age-appropriate curriculums that include information on healthy relationships and pregnancy and STD prevention.
The Education Department of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey (PPGNNJ), along with its president and CEO, Triste Brooks, were awarded, respectively, the APPLE Orchard and APPLE Tree Awards for serving as models of excellence for other affiliates. Triste first joined the federation as an education director and has gone on to provide unconditional support for education in her role as CEO of PPGNNJ. PPGNNJ has been a leader in education and holds an annual conference that provides access to some of the top sexuality educators in the country.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest was also awarded an APPLE Orchard Award for its outstanding contributions to education. The provider’s Northwest Coalition for Adolescent Health is a model for affiliate collaboration. This alliance between Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Planned Parenthood of Montana, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon, and Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood was key in securing the single largest Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative federal grant in the country in 2010 for replication of the Teen Outreach Program. The program aims to help youth avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The award totaled $20 million.
The Big APPLE Award went to Mike Palencia, a community health educator for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho, for his dedication to education. Palencia has helped advance Planned Parenthood’s work in schools through the relationships he has helped build with the local community since joining Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood has the largest network of sex education providers in the country, reaching more than 1.2 million parents and teens annually, and training more than 80,000 professionals.