Congratulations to our 2012 Women & Young Women of Distinction Honorees!
Visionary Award

  Dr. Anna Solley
President, Phoenix College
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Dr. Solley has 35 years of experience in higher education and has served as the President of Phoenix College (PC) for the last seven years. As the flagship institution of the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the largest community college districts in the nation, PC has been delivering teaching and learning experiences for more than 90 years.

Mariah Neal
Paradise Valley High School 
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Mariah designed, built and stocked a closet of clothes for children at St. Joseph’s Hospital and assisted with a toy drive. Through this project, Mariah earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. She plans to attend Grand Canyon University to study forensic science.

Courage Award 

  Darlene Newsom
CEO, UMOM New Day Centers
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Darlene has had compassion for the homeless since her childhood. For the last nine years she has headed the United Methodist Outreach Ministries New Day Centers (UMOM). They provide shelter, housing and support for 162 families and 175 women every night. She is also a nationally recognized advocate on homeless issues.

Catherine Ayotte
BASIS High School
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Catherine has used her talents and personal experiences to focus on the dangers of food allergies. She developed a program entitled Kid to Kid: Food Allergy Education for Students and implemented it in a number of local elementary and middle schools. She has earned her Gold Award for her efforts, and plans on studying aeronautical engineering after high school.

Leadership Award 

   Jackie Norton
President & CEO, Rodel Foundation
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In her position as head of the Rodel Foundation, Jackie is focused on improving K-12 education in Arizona. Specifically, the Foundation looks to improve student achievement and increase the quality of teachers and principals throughout our state. Prior to joining Rodel, Jackie was Vice President for the ASU Foundation for a New American University.

Emily Nugent
Highland High School
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A Girl Scout since age four, Emily has been active in community service. She has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, collected food for food banks, and spent many hours as a Program Aide at Camp Sombrero and our community programs. She is currently working on her Gold Award project—teaching girls about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.