On Thursday, October 25, 2012, the Women’s Fund of Long Island (WFLI) will host its annual Women Achievers Against the Odds Breakfast. St. Anthony’s High School junior and Westbury resident, Kalifa Lillian Davy, has been selected to receive the 2012 Shapiro-McCormick Young Woman Leader Award. She will share this honor with East Hampton High School senior Laura Perez. Ms. Shapiro and Ms. McCormick, for whom the award is named, co-founded the Women on the Job education and advocacy project for women’s workplace rights and equality 30 years ago. The project merged with WFLI in 2007 and the Shapiro-McCormick leadership award has become a highlight of the Women’s Fund’s annual breakfast. Recipients of this award must demonstrate leadership qualities, have a keen awareness of the challenges associated with promoting greater gender equality, and exhibit a “take charge” approach towards addressing them.
From a young age Kalifa felt an incredible need to help others. Feeling compassion, and a deep aversion for injustice, she has always been motivated to make a difference. She has often been described as optimistic, vivacious, and independent.
At her school, Kalifa is a member of the Sports Medicine Club, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band and United Cultures Club. She plays on the school's nationally ranked varsity basketball team and has traveled to China to play with her high school orchestra. She was awarded the Duns Scotus Academic Award for high academic achievement and is a proud 11 year member of Girl Scouts of Nassau County where she has attained the rank of Ambassador Girl Scout.
Kalifa’s need to make a difference is evident in her volunteer activities. She has raised and donated $4,000 to provide scholarships to students attending historically black universities, assisted families impacted by Hurricane Katrina, and volunteers at local day care centers in her community as well as in the Nassau University Medical Center Pediatrics Department. This past summer, she secured a highly competitive internship with Winthrop University partnering with the Brooklyn-Queens Long Island Health Program.
“Kalifa’s passion and dedication to improving the lives of those in need in her community and across the globe is truly commendable,” said Stacey Scarpone, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Long Island. “We are thrilled to be honoring such a remarkable young woman.”
As a recipient of this award, Kalifa will receive a $1000 Young Woman Leader Service Grant made available through WFLI’s partnership with the United Way of Long Island’s Dreams for Youth Scholarship Program. Earlier this year Kalifa participated in a demonstration at the United Nations to bring recognition and awareness about the atrocities occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This global plight has inspired her to reach out to others to bring attention to the genocide and violence against women and girls. Kalifa plans to used her grant towards educational programming and the creation of a documentary that would bring awareness to these atrocities.
Kalifa hopes to play Division I college basketball at Baylor University. She aspires to become a general surgeon and travel the world to help those in third world countries as well as the less fortunate in her own community.
In addition to the two young women leaders, the Women’s Fund of Long Island will also be honoring four outstanding women achievers: Becky Creavin and Patricia Janco-Tupper, Managing Directors of Deutsche Bank and Artemis and Arda Nazerian, Educators and Community Activists.
If you would like more information about WFLI’s Women Achievers Against the Odds Breakfast or about how to nominate an exceptional young woman for the 2013 Shapiro-McCormick Young Woman Leader Award, please contact Fran Medaglia, Senior Program & Advocacy Consultant at (516) 396-9857, Ext. 9, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.womensfundli.org.
The Women’s Fund of Long Island invests in the power of women and the dreams of girls. Our vision is a world of justice and opportunity for women and girls, where we serve as the primary decision makers about issues that affect us, have equal voices in the political process, are paid equitably for work, and live in homes and communities without fear of violence. Our Women on the Job project focuses on education and advocacy for women’s workplace rights and equality.