Ann Nicolai receives first IMPACT Award
Often there are exceptional people working in our community: this means they connect, bridge gaps, serve and keep us accountable. Many times these people are overlooked when the times for recognition come and go. This was the inspiration behind the creation of the REACH IMPACT Award. This award will be used to honour a local citizen who works toward meaningful change on a REACH project or initiative. The first IMPACT Award was presented to Ann Nicolai at the 2014 REACH Edmonton Annual General Meeting June 5. Nicolai has served as Executive Director of the Candora Society for seven years, was a Team Leader with the Multicultural Health Brokers for four years and served in a wide variety of other community positions. Most recently, she served as the Schools as Community Hubs Coordinator with the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB). She brought together Somali families through service providers and cultural navigators within the EPSB, helping to navigate the various systems when families struggle to understand western culture. Gaining support is crucial for children, youth and their families to gain acceptance, develop their capacities and demonstrate their skills, knowledge and experience in their neighbourhoods. "She understands the importance of prevention for these families within schools, as a crucial part of community and their key role in crime prevention," said REACH Edmonton executive director Jan Fox. "The reason we chose Ann is because through her efforts she really put a great focus on how a school becomes a community hub, by promoting it, letting the community know about it and not stopping at the letter of her job description." REACH Edmonton will present the IMPACT Award to one person at each Annual General Meeting.