Frederik R-L Osborne Prize awarded to three Osborne staff08 July 2020
On June 30, three Osborne staff were awarded the annual Frederik R-L Osborne Prize in an online ceremony attended by more than 120 guests. Osborne awards the prize to formerly incarcerated employees who embody the qualities of Frederik "Erik" Osborne: compassion, generosity, and humor.
Osborne's President and CEO Elizabeth Gaynes opened the ceremony by naming the overlapping pandemics of Covid-19 and America's founding and persistent inequities that have led to our current public reckoning with police brutality and systemic racism.
Liz then warmly recounted some of the ways that people may know Erik Osborne: as the former publisher of The Citizen-Advertiser and founder of Auburn Cablevision; as an avid rower who has set indoor world records; as the author of such books as "Taking Fortune's Tide" and "The Adventures of Tilly." Or, perhaps, as our former board chair and the grandson of our founder, Thomas Mott Osborne.
Erik Osborne introduced the first prize winner, Malcolm Davis. Malcolm is the program manager for our Wellness & Prevention unit and has been on staff since he was first hired as a peer worker in 2001. After receiving his award, Malcolm thanked the Osborne family and staff for "giving me an opportunity to prove to myself and others that I could be more than a DIN Number. It is here that I learned not to judge others based on their past or present experiences... It has been an honor to do the Osborne Association's work with a high level of integrity that we embody."
Lucretia Wells, Erik's daughter, awarded Facilities Manager Orlando Feliciano his prize, noting that Orlando "[has kept] Osborne running" since he joined us in April 2000 as a building maintenance worker. Orlando shared that "Osborne has been a lot more than a job to me. I met my wife at Osborne when she worked on staff. Together we have a 12-year-old daughter. It is a place that values family and encourages staff and participants alike to build and maintain strong relationships. Osborne is an environment that has made me feel wanted and has shown me how I am needed and how I can make a difference."
Swift Edgar, Erik Osborne's grandson, presented Sharon Livingston with her prize. Sharon has been at Osborne since 2015 and is currently a Family Service Specialist in our Pathways for Reentry, Employment, and Parenting (Prepare) program. She is a graduate of Osborne's job readiness program, worked as a peer mentor with people returning home from prison, and on staff in Osborne's Janitorial Maintenance Services business. Reflecting on the prize, Sharon thanked people at Osborne "who embraced me when I first got home, interviewed and hired me, recognized my strengths, sent me to trainings, or even just smile when I pass them in the halls. Every little gesture played a part in my receiving this award and strengthened my passion for assisting others."
Osborne board member John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA and former Osborne Executive Vice President, closed the event by thanking the prize winners for their contributions to this work. Valverde reflected on his years at Osborne and said, "what made Osborne real for me was being with people like you every day."