The YWCA Will Honor Two Women for Lifetime Service to Our Community at Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon
Women of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Have Made a Lasting Impact in Our Community
On Thursday, June 21, the St. Joseph community will gather to celebrate the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon at the downtown Civic Arena. The luncheon marks the 17th annual event, which honors women in the community whose service in professional and volunteer roles helps to make St. Joseph a better place.
Each year, Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to women in the community who have made service a central focus of their lives and have significantly impacted the St. Joseph area with their efforts. This year, two outstanding women are being recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards as Women of Excellence: Helen Washington and Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.
Helen Washington has spent the last 30 years inspiring and equipping children to embark on a bright future. From her work in early childhood at InterServ and as a Head Start lead teacher, to her most recent position as the Bartlett Center’s Youth Director, Helen has always drawn children close. Whether they have no adult role models, are in need of food or clothing, or simply need someone to listen to them, Helen has filled that void for countless children.
Helen has also carried her love for children into her volunteerism and private life. She has worked tirelessly to support causes for the youth of St. Joseph and is an advocate for the preservation of Black History in St. Joseph. One of her most memorable efforts was the founding of O-RAP, which inspired 25 women living in the Oak Ridge Apartments to change their lifestyles and make a positive impact in their community.
Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.
Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.’s enthusiasm for the St. Joseph community is evident in everything she touches. She’s an advocate for the arts, working to promote the interests of the St. Joseph Symphony, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art and the St. Joseph Performing Arts Association, among others. She credits her dedication to the arts to her lifelong delight in music, from hearing the music of her uncle and mother to participating in high school marching and concert bands.
In her professional life, Sharon has never settled for simply meeting the expectations of the job. As the St. Joseph School District Business Chairperson, she wrote curriculum, coordinated the efforts of 27 teachers across the district and purchased materials for the department. She also spearheaded an effort to make Personal Finance a requirement for high school graduation in the State of Missouri.
Sharon’s love of St. Joseph is evident in her long list of volunteer efforts in the area. She is also proud of her two daughters, who both have successful careers in the medical field, and her three grandchildren. Sharon’s excellence reaches every area of her life, and the recipient of this Women of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award is a treasure for the community.
To learn more about the 2018 Women of Excellence luncheon or to register for the event, contact the YWCA of St. Joseph.