By Michael Givens | December 5, 2019 | 3 Minute Read
Eastern Bank has a powerful legacy of community advocacy across New England. Our dedication to supporting communities of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ population, and low-income families have helped us to stand out as a social justice leader. Our annual Community Advocacy Awards ceremony is an opportunity for us to acknowledge and honor the local leaders who are also making a difference across New England.
This year, Eastern Bank will honor those who have made great contributions to one of the most important parts of our communities: early childhood education. Throughout October, November, and December, Eastern Bank will present awards to a diverse group of individuals who have devoted themselves to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.
November 7th: Zelma Khadar and Lucas Skorczeski, Acre Family Child Care
Zelma Khadar embodies community advocacy at its best. When her children were young, Khadar began bringing them to an Acre child care provider in Lowell, Massachusetts. Eventually, she joined the board of directors as a representative for the Acre parents. Her leadership while on the board eventually led to her joining the staff in 1998 as a coordinator for an Acre program providing financial education classes to residents of Lowell. Now Khadar is a co-executive director of Acre Family Child Care and manages the Child Care Department, where she oversees family child care provider and parent services.
Lucas Skorczeski is also the co-executive director of Acre Family Child Care and has worked for the organization since 2015. With almost a decade of experience working in children’s museums (most recently at the Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts), Lucas has a strong commitment to understanding and developing the capabilities of children, family, and educators. Learn more about why Zelma Khadar and Lucas Skorczeski are this year’s Community Advocacy Award honorees.
November 1st: Peter Gilmore, Seacoast Community School
Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Seacoast Community School educates more than 260 students between the ages of eight weeks and 12 and provides early childhood education access and before and after school programs. Peter Gilmore has been the executive director of the school since 2016 and comes from a long line of educators.
He earned a B.A. in History from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and went on to earn a Masters of Education from Harvard University. Gilmore has spent most of his career working for independent schools and most recently was the head of school at Vermont Commons School before taking his position at Seacoast Community School. He also served on the board of directors for the Vermont Independent Schools Association (VISA). Read more about why Peter Gilmore is honored with Eastern Bank’s Community Advocacy Award.
October 31st: Sheri Adlin, South Shore Stars
Sheri Adlin has spent more than 40 years in community advocacy and currently serves as the executive director of South Shore Stars, a position she’s held for 25 years. South Shore Stars works with children from birth to high school on subjects including school readiness, academic achievement, and healthy development.
Adlin has worked on a number of coalitions to support low-income and immigrant families. She has more than four decades of experience in program development, management, public policy, and classroom teaching. In addition, she has been the vice-president of the Massachusetts Association of Early Education and Care (MADCA) for 20 years. As vice-president, she has advocated for policies to support affordable and accessible childcare. Learn more about why Sheri Adlin is this year’s Community Advocacy Award honoree.
October 30th: Cindy Horgan, Cape Cod Children’s Place, Inc.
As the executive director and family support coordinator of Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cindy Horgan has been involved in family support and education for years. With a mission to serve as a resource for families with young children, Cape Cod Children’s Place provides a range of programs such as support groups, family workshops, early childhood classes, referrals, and even personalized home visits.
In 2017, she oversaw the partnership of Cape Cod Children’s Place with a number of other local community agencies so the Children’s Place could better provide services for low-income families. And in January, she managed the critical partnership between Cape Cod Children’s Place and the Homeless Prevention Council and the Community Development Program to form an interagency alliance. This allowed each organization to continue to provide critical services for local families in need of support. Horgan holds an M.Ed from Wheelock College. Read more about why Cindy Horgan is honored with Eastern Bank’s Community Advocacy Award.