Commission for Women
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2012 Woman and Young Woman of the Year Winners

Young Woman of the Year 2012 – Olivia Keithley

Photo of Olivia Keithley, 2012 Young Woman of the Year winner.
          Olivia Keithley, 2012
      Young Woman of the Year

The Commission’s choice for Young Woman of the Year is Olivia Keithley, a senior at Hereford High School. Olivia is a born leader with a passion for helping others in whatever way she can.

Olivia’s leadership qualities became evident as a freshman when she was voted president in the Student Government Association (SGA) at the Baltimore County level, the youngest SGA president for Baltimore County ever. She has since run unopposed, based on her accomplishments in office and the respect given her by her SGA peers. As a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council for Baltimore County Schools, she organized all aspects of countywide food drives, including advertising, organizing food pick up and distribution for all schools. Her food drive raised over 30,000 pounds of food for 2011 alone, and over 50,000 pounds total during her tenure as president. Under Olivia’s leadership, the Kids Helping Hopkins charity participation has grown every year.  

Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Hairston described Olivia as “a little lady, but a mountain of knowledge and energy." As the voice of over 105,000 Baltimore County high school students, Olivia has grown from an organizer, public speaker and advocate into one of the most influential people in the Baltimore County school system.

Olivia shares her time and talents with other students in Student Council Leadership Workshops. As a three-year member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board, she serves on various task forces and committees for Baltimore County Public Schools and has written and presented leadership workshops to students on the county, state and national levels.

In her Hereford community, Olivia has served as an assistant Girl Scout Troop Leader and earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by rebuilding a local preschool library. At school, she tutors fellow students in math, science and Spanish and is in the top 15 percent of her class. She has danced with a dance troupe, earned a spot in the Greater Baltimore Orchestra, been an Aldante Familia volunteer and is a Hereford High Student Council vice president.

Olivia’s list of accomplishments at such an early age is extraordinary. We sincerely thank her for her generosity to her County and community and wish her every success in the future.

Congratulations on your award as Young Woman of the Year 2012.

Woman of the Year 2012 – Irene Spatafore

Photo of Irene Spatafore, 2012 Woman of the Year winner.
  Irene Spatafore, 2012
     Woman of the Year

Irene Spatafore is a lifelong resident of Dundalk who has spent a lifetime giving back to her community.

Early in her adult life, Irene worked for the Army as a secretary at Fort Holabird. After five years, she left to marry and raise her family of three children. Her first community involvement was as a den mother for the Cub Scouts. Her commitment to community continued when she volunteered for 16 years at the Distillery Senior Apartments, where she planned dinners, entertainment and activities for handicapped seniors or those with no friends or relatives.

Her most ambitious project to date has been the creation of "Angels Supporting Our Troops." For the last three years, Irene and her dedicated volunteers have been collecting provisions for care packages to send to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have mobilized support in this effort in their Dundalk community from schools, churches and businesses. They have sent hundreds of these care packages to soldiers, often receiving back letters of heartfelt gratitude. Irene collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations to pay for the postage to send these packages abroad.

We congratulate Mrs. Spatafore on her many accomplishments and celebrate her selection as Woman of the Year 2012.

The 2012 Women Making a Difference Award – Cornelia King

Photo of Cornelia King, Making a Difference Award winner.
         Cornelia King, 2012
     Woman Making a Difference

Cornelia King has given of herself to her family and to her Randallstown community all of her life. Those who know her cannot remember a time when her time and talents were not fully committed to helping others.

Mrs. King, or Connie as she is lovingly known, is a retiree from Johns Hopkins University and is the respected matriarch of her family. In addition to raising her own children, she opened her home to three nieces and saw them educated and become successful, independent women. A decade ago, Connie brought her mother, mother-in-law, and aunt, all over the age of 80, into her home to care for them together until they eventually passed away in their 90s. She also cares for her grandchildren while their parents work.

In her community, Connie serves on the Executive Board of the Baltimore County Association of Senior Citizens. She also volunteers at the Benjamin Banneker Parks and Recreation Museum. She regularly collects and distributes food and household items to those in need with the Sisters of Charity. She is a pillar of her church community and has been nominated mother of her church, the Greater First Jurisdiction of Maryland Church of God in Christ.

We congratulate Cornelia King on her many accomplishments and celebrate her award as a Woman Making a Difference 2012.

Revised November 6, 2013

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