Kids Can Announces Can Do Award Winners
Kids Can Community Center (KidsCan.org) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Can Do Awards.
Can Do Future Award – The 2022 Can Do Future Award will be posthumously awarded to Bob Whitehouse. Sponsored by Wells Fargo, this award spotlights individuals who strive to create opportunities for a brighter future for members of our community. Whitehouse spent 47 years of his career in Omaha Public Schools; as a teacher and coach at Central High School, and administrator at Bryan High School, Bryan Middle School, and Omaha South High School.
Can Do Hope Award – This year’s Can Do Hope Award, sponsored by Gallup, will honor Pastor Portia Cavitt of Claire Memorial Church. Cavitt has been instrumental in ensuring North Omaha and surrounding communities have access to healthy food for their families during COVID. She also led a collaborative of health care workers and community members to increase vaccine access to marginalized communities, even creating new clinic locations which provided more than 5,000 vaccines.
Can Do Growth Mindset Award – The first Can Do Growth Mindset Award, sponsored by Bridges Trust, will honor Rebecca Stavick, chief executive officer of Community Information Trust of Do Space, the nation’s first technology library. Stavick joined the Do Space project during its earliest stages to lead the development of programs, services, and operations. Since opening in 2015, Do Space has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in the 2016 American Libraries Design Showcase.
Can Do Provider Award – The Can Do Provider award, sponsored by the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC), honors childcare providers on their journey to higher quality. This year’s award goes to Ana Yumul. Ana was born in El Salvador, raised in Los Angeles, and is the first in her family to attend college. She left a career as a financial adviser to follow her passion for working with children and now owns Bella’s Daycare in Omaha.
Can Do Volunteer Award – Natalie Mancuso is this year’s recipient of the Can Do Volunteer Award, sponsored by Union Pacific. Natalie is a revenue accounting manager at Union Pacific Railroad. Her love and passion for her community has led her to be a volunteer for hospice care, United Way’s Community Investment Review Team, FITGirl Inc., and many years on the UP Ties Board and philanthropy committee.
Can Do Entrepreneur Award – The inaugural Can Do Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by Dundee Bank, spotlights individuals making our community brighter with an entrepreneurial spirit. This year’s award will honor Zoey Sterba, owner of The Chute. Born and raised in Omaha, her entrepreneurial adventure started at a young age. Zoey studied fashion merchandising at UNL and opened The Chute shortly after graduating.
Can Do Educator Award – This year’s Can Do Educator Award, sponsored by Oxbow Animal Health, is honoring Laura Wray. Mrs. Wray has been teaching at Wakonda for eight years and said she loves her classes. She especially likes working with students after school, saying, “This adventure has been amazing and rewarding.”
Can Do Junior Award – Sponsored by Bellevue University, this year’s Can Do Junior Award goes to Shaun Taylor, a 5th grader at Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary. Shaun loves engineering and building projects, and spends weekends with his great-grandma, where he plays cards and helps her with chores. At Kids Can, Shaun said he has learned how to make new friends and “if you treat someone one way, they will treat you back that way.”
The mission of Kids Can Community Center is to educate, engage, and inspire children through early childhood education and quality out-of-school experiences. Learn more about the award winners at KidsCan.org.