Juvenile Re-entry Initiative. From left: WSOS Board member Carmen Beltran, Trisha Baker of WSOS, Mae Leake of WSOS, Program Participant Josh Perez, WSOS President/CEO Ruthann House, Parent Renee Becerra, Program Partner Representatives Dallas Leaker and Kay Hofacker and WSOS Board member Jeannie Weber.
Ohio VETS Program. From left: Program Partner Judy McKinney of Port Clinton, WSOS Board member Carmen Beltran, Ken Sayre of WSOS, WSOS President/CEO Ruthann House, Program Participant Ben Knausse, Roger Fisher of WSOS and WSOS Board member Jeannie Weber.
The Ohio VETS Program and the Juvenile Re-entry project of the After School Program, both operated by WSOS Community Action Commission, each received a Best Practice award.
Staff, participants and partners from both programs, along with other WSOS staff members, attended the awards luncheon in Columbus on Wednesday.
The award is presented annually by The John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA). WSOS is a member of OACAA. The Best Practice award recognizes and honors proven innovative and effective programs, projects, processes, procedures or strategies by member community action agencies.
The WSOS programs were two of seven Best Practice awards presented this year to Ohio’s community action agencies. Since the award has been established, WSOS programs have earned more than 11 Best Practice awards while another two programs have earned honorable mention awards.
“I learned so much,” said Josh Perez, a participant in the Juvenile Re-entry Initiative that was a part of the WSOS After School program. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for this program.” Lopez and his mother, Renee Becerra, attended the luncheon. The Juvenile Re-entry initiative is part of a larger program that WSOS collaborated in with the Sandusky County Juvenile Court to help secure funding to assist those youth already in the court system or those at risk.
“This program allowed me to fulfill my dream of becoming a marine mechanic,” Ben Knausse of Tiffin said. Knausse, who is a veteran, was one of the Ohio VETS program participants who attended the awards ceremony. While funding for the Ohio VETS program ended, the successful operation of that program assisted WSOS in securing other funding that provides assistance to veterans and their families who live in Lucas County.
“This award reinforces the strength of the partnerships that WSOS has built in an effort to provide much needed services in our communities,” said WSOS President/CEO Ruthann House. “We are honored by this recognition and will continue to do our best on behalf of those we are here to serve.”