Simmons Celebrates 2018 Luminary Award Honorees

Luminary Award 2018 participants: (left to right) SMU President R. Gerald Turner; Stephanie Knight, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Claire Emanuelson, 2018 chair of the Crystal Charity Ball; Pam Perella, 2017 chair of the Crystal Charity Ball; Jennifer Emmett, senior vice president of Kids Media Content at National Geographic; Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center; Richard Collins, CEO of Istation

Three organizations dedicated to positive change and enlightened education were honored in March with Luminary Awards from SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Organizations include North Texas honoree, the Crystal Charity Ball; regional honoree, the Resource Center, and national honoree, the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Kids.

“The Simmons School is proud to honor the contributions of three organizations working tirelessly to advance education and human development for children and families,” says Stephanie Knight, dean of the Simmons School. “These organizations use the power of learning and leadership to change lives.”

Since 1952 the Crystal Charity Ball has provided $145 million to more than 150 Dallas County nonprofit agencies that serve children. Members raise funds for the beneficiaries selected each year to help underserved children in the areas of health, education, social services and the arts. The organization consists of 100 women volunteers who raise funds, research potential beneficiaries and serve as advocates for children.

Regional Luminary honoree, the Resource Center, has provided support to North Texas lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning communities since 1983. Located in Dallas, the agency provides critical assistance to low-income people living with HIV, including a food pantry, dental, health and social services. In partnership with the Simmons Center for Family Counseling at SMU, the Resource Center also provides affordable, LGBTQ-specialized mental health counseling for youth and adults. Its staff of 59, supported by 1,200 volunteers, serves more than 60,000 people each year.

The National Luminary honoree, the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Kids, brings geography, social studies and science to life through exploration, education and storytelling. Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring and protecting Earth. It funds research and conservation projects around the world as well as educational initiatives. The National Geographic Kids team creates materials for K-12 educators as well as magazines, books, games, films, websites and events that engage children in exploration and discovery.

The Luminary Award was created in 2009 by the Simmons School to honor individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education. The award is given annually to a local, regional and national recipient. Special thanks to IStation and other 2018 sponsors.


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