20th Annual Volunteer Appreciation

Thank you to everyone who attended our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on April 24, 2018!

 

Adwoa "Adj" Awotwi from LocumTenens.com received our "Honorable Glenda Hatchett Volunteer of the Year Award".

Adj joined TIP in December of 2003 and for nearly 15 years, she has exemplified what it is to be a great volunteer, advocate, mentor and role-model. Adj has taken interest in every facet of TIP from volunteering for early intervention, educational neglect, and truancy cases to serving as TIP’s Board chair since September 2014. She is a fixture at all TIP outreach events and even deejayed our holiday party briefly. Adj is also a tremendous recruiter, and routinely speaks at swearing-in services and at TIP training seminars. Even through multiple job changes, she has stuck with TIP, and brought awareness of TIP and the truancy problem to her new employers. As a volunteer, Adj has committed to working with two clients at a time and can routinely be seen outside of the courtroom counseling clients or inside the courtroom calmly reassuring them or holding a hand when nerves set in. On one of Adj’s recent cases, near the end of the life of the case, her client decided that the National Guard Youth Challenge Program was something that she wanted to pursue. However, in order for her client to avoid any trouble at home, the student’s guardian, probation officer, and Adj, with the student’s input, decided that the student should live with Adj for the 6 weeks leading up to the Youth Challenge start date. So for six weeks, Adj rearranged her schedule so that she was able to drop her client off at her educational program and make sure that she was available to pick her up after her counseling session every day, both of which Adj was instrumental in securing for her client. The end result was, her client successfully enrolled and transitioned to the innovative National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

Law firm, Troutman Sanders, received our "Champion for Children Award"

Led by the efforts of Terri Hendley and Kevin Coleman, Troutman Sanders increased its commitment to TIP’s pro bono service by hosting a TIP informational session and then hosting a CLE seminar. Both added many new Troutman volunteers to the TIP ranks and informed the firm of all of the great things that TIP is doing in Atlanta. In conjunction with United Way week at the firm, Troutman attorneys and staff members participated in a school supply donation drive, helping TIP eliminate one barrier that often prevents our clients from going to school. In addition to the donation of school supplies, Troutman also contributed a sizable financial gift to support TIP’s mission. Troutman’s partnering with TIP has expanded our reach in the legal community and increased our benefit to TIP children and families.

And our honorees were:

Bill Fletcher
Gibson, Deal and Fletcher, P.C.
As one of TIP’s most seasoned volunteers, Bill accepted his first case in September of 1995. Over the last two decades, Bill has volunteered on at least one case every year, easily making Bill one of our most consistent volunteers. We honored Bill for his successful advocacy on a case where his client won TIP’s Hank Aaron Award, as the student who showed the most improvement during the school year. Not resting on his laurels since his last honor, Bill continued his involvement by accepting at least one case each year, while elevating his involvement and agreeing to speak at our CLE trainings. Most recently, Bill received a client who plainly refused to go to school. Through building a rapport with his client, an unlikely pairing, Bill was able to identify many of the issues that consumed the student. He was then better able to advocate for his client’s educational needs in court and help the student get into the court’s GED program. Bill has always been a reliable volunteer and one that can be counted upon no matter the circumstance. It is with the help of volunteers like Bill, that TIP children succeed in school.

Anthony “Tony” Greene
Alston & Bird LLP
Tony became a TIP volunteer in 2017 after receiving a firm email announcing a fellow Alston & Bird associate, Andrew Hatchett, as the 2017 Glenda Hatchett Volunteer of the Year winner. After learning more about Andrew’s work with TIP, Tony contacted TIP, and within a few weeks was a trained volunteer. Capitalizing on his excitement, Tony immediately volunteered for a truancy case and quickly followed it by accepting a second. Tony routinely steps beyond his role in court to advocate on his client's behalf and increase parental involvement. In his most recent case, Tony’s advocacy included: making sure family and individual counseling was secured, seeing a marked attendance improvement, helping with course credit recovery, and even providing transportation to the client and family when that was the only barrier to success.

Joshua “Josh” Harris
Community Volunteer
Josh became a TIP volunteer in the fall of 2014 and immediately began taking cases. As one of TIP’s first ERP volunteers, Josh was paired with a family who he would get to know intimately over the next 4 years. As fate would have it, Josh not only met his first official TIP client, but also his second client, his first client’s brother. Since that initial ERP meeting, Josh has attended countless review hearings, school meetings, counseling sessions, and even a detention hearing, all in the name of advocating for his clients. Josh has even found time in his schedule to share his TIP experience as part of our 25th Anniversary video. Josh has demonstrated a consistent dedication to his clients while showing a contagious enthusiasm for education, as well as being a positive influence. He truly represents the tenacity of the TIP volunteer and refuses to give up on the potential that lies within every TIP child and parent.

Mark Silver
Dentons
Mark was introduced to TIP in 2014, after learning that his colleague was recently honored as a TIP volunteer. Intrigued, Mark sought out the volunteer to inquire about TIP and its mission. Mark has a remarkable knack for engaging with his clients and believes that his advocacy is just as important outside of the courtroom as inside. Mark shared his philosophy when working with TIP students, stating “I obviously act as his lawyer, but I see my role as that of a mentor as well. I try to be available to assist him with any issues that may arise, whether they involve schooling or some other aspect of his life.” Recently, Mark was able to show his client what happens to adults who display the behaviors that his client was displaying. With the help of a public defender, he was able to take his client with him to court and observe a day of criminal proceedings. Afterwards, Mark and his client were able to visit with the judge to have a frank, but nurturing conversation. Today, Mark’s client is doing better at school and at home. Mark’s efforts stand out in furtherance of TIP’s mission and he continues to be a great asset to the TIP students he represents.

And thank you to our sponsors: