Steven Saum posted an articleHonoring two outstanding leaders in the Peace Corps community see more
As part of Peace Corps Connect 2022, Women of Peace Corps Legacy honored two outstanding leaders in the Peace Corps community. The awards were presented by WPCL co-presidents Megan Celistine, who served as a Volunteer in Dominica 2014–17, and Jody Olsen, who served as a Volunteer in Tunisia 1966–68 and as Peace Corps Director 2018–21.
Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award
Honoring those under the age of 40 who have shown a demonstrated dedication to improving the lives of women and girls.
Jaynice Del Rosario
Program Officer, Girls First Fund
Jaynice Del Rosario began her career conducting independent research on girls’ lack of access to education in Cameroon in 2010, where she met Peace Corps Volunteers who inspired her to do something about it. She served as a Volunteer in Ethiopia 2013–15 and undertook work as national coordinator of gender and development; she also participated in planning sessions that led to the Peace Corps’ “Let Girls Learn” initiative. Her work centered on girls and supporting their right to a quality education has taken her to the Dominican Republic and Laos. In her current role, she supports community-based organizations in the Global South that combat child marriage and help girls live self-determined lives.
Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award
Honoring Peace Corps women whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of women and girls.
Theresa P. Castillo
Chief Program Officer, HealthRight International
Informed by Peace Corps service in Turkmenistan, Morocco, and Mali 2001–04, Theresa Castillo has worked in the fields of gender, social justice, and health equity for more than 25 years, helping thousands of women and girls around the world. Working primarily in resource-poor settings across Asia, North America, and sub-Saharan Africa, Castillo has collaborated with NGOs, U.N. agencies, and ministries of health to strengthen public health systems. Her research is dedicated to immigrant, refugee, and indigenous women and girls’ health issues.
An advocate of holistic concepts of health and integrated healing, Castillo serves on several health equity committees, peer- review journal panels, and presents globally on gender, sexual and reproductive health, youth, and indigenous rights. At HealthRight International she launched the Women and Children’s Health Program, putting women and girls at the center of development. She also teaches at Bard College’s program in globalization and international affairs, at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, and at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Orrin Luc posted an articleHere Are Three Outstanding Leaders in the Peace Corps Community Honored with 2021 Awards by the Women of Peace Corps LegacyNancy Kelly, Amy Maglio, and Estee Katcoff honored for global service and leadership see more
Nancy Kelly of Health Volunteers Overseas and Amy Maglio of the Women’s Global Education Project are recognized with the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. Estee Katcoff, founder of the Superkids Foundation, is recognized with the Kate Raftery Emerging Leaders Award.
By NPCA Staff
As part of the global virtual conference Peace Corps Connect 2021, Women of Peace Corps Legacy presented awards to three outstanding leaders in the Peace Corps community. Nancy Kelly and Amy Maglio were each honored with the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. And Estee Katcoff was presented with the Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award.
The awards were presented by Kathleen Corey, president of Women of Peace Corps Legacy, on September 23 at the Peace Corps Connect conference. WPCL is an affiliate group of National Peace Corps Association and is part of a vibrant community that includes more than 180 affiliate groups focused on regions in the U.S., on countries where Volunteers have served, and around causes that matter to the Peace Corps community.
Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award
The Deborah Harding Award honors Peace Corps women whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of women and girls in the world.
Nancy Kelly has worked tirelessly for over four decades to help women and girls all over the world. She began her journey in 1979 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Korea, working in maternal and child health, and went on to develop a career in global health. As the executive director of Health Volunteers Overseas since its creation in 1986, she has been the driver behind a program which has enabled thousands of women, children and humans to receive improved, dignified, and compassionate health care — and has allowed thousands of health professionals to receive training and mentorship which otherwise would have been near impossible.
Under her leadership, Health Volunteers Overseas has facilitated over 11,900 volunteer assignments globally. The last five have resulted in, on average, 3,200 health professionals receiving training and mentorship each year — benefiting innumerate women and children both directly and indirectly. In so doing, she is helping to build a global cadre of talented, confident, and inspired women who are committed to advancing global health.
Amy Maglio is the founder and executive director of the Women’s Global Education Project (WGEP) which works with grassroots community partners to educate, empower, and promote equality for women and girls in rural Senegal and Kenya. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Amy saw firsthand the multiplier effect of girls' education in rural Senegal and how access to education — which was extremely limited for girls, not only increased their own opportunities — but also enabled them to provide for their families and catalyzed wider community change.
Inspired by Khady, her host sister who she assisted in getting an education as well as other girls in her village, Amy started WGEP in 2004, at her dining room table, determined to help girls and women succeed in school and reach their full potential. As director of this Chicago-area NGO, she helped ensure the increase of education opportunities for marginalized girls in rural Kenya and Senegal through innovative programs with grassroots community partners.
This NGO has proved to be tremendously successful and has held a 99% retention rate, reaching over 20,000 girls and young women to date. In 2010, she was invited to present WGEP’s model as a best practice approach to girls’ education at the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative Conference in Dakar, Senegal, and was a drafter of the UN Declaration on Gender Equality.
Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award
The Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award is presented annually to a woman with an affiliation to Peace Corps under the age of 35 who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and ongoing commitment to serve women and girls.
Estee Katcoff became aware of gender-based violence as a Peace Corps Volunteer and used this knowledge to lead initiatives preventing it in Paraguay during and after her service. She founded a girls' empowerment club and extended for a third year to continue her work, which included working with the Children's Rights Council of Gender-Based Violence Prevention.
Since then, Estee has piloted a successful youth program, originally called Zero Violencia, which continues now as the Superkids Foundation, working in Paraguay to mobilize children as agents of change in their communities. Seventy percent of the Kid Teachers who have risen to action through Superkids identify as girls and learn the knowledge and skills needed to not only end GBV but work towards equity in their communities, particularly in education.
Estee’s focus has always been on building the capacity of her Peace Corps community to use best practices to effect change, while championing women and girls and always including men and boys in the effort.
Story updated December 28, 2021 to correct spelling