Two outstanding leaders from Alamance Community College were award recipients at the sixth annual Women’s Resource Center “Leading the Way” banquet on November 7.
Carolyn Rhode, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, was recognized with the 2019 Founder’s Award, and Yazmin Garcia Rico, an ESOL instructor, was presented with the 2019 Rising Star Award.
Founder’s Award – Carolyn Rhode
The Founder’s Award is given to a professional who demonstrates excellence and achievement in mentoring, community development, business contributions, philanthropy and overall community leadership.
Award recipient Carolyn Rhode has been employed by Alamance Community College since 2004 and serves as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of the ACC Foundation. Rhode was one of eight nominees.
Rhode’s duties at the College are many. In her job to oversee fundraising to assist low-income students, she has helped nearly 15,000 students access the dream of post-secondary education to date. She and her small staff have increased the value of financial assets from $4 million to $13.5 million during her tenure.
Working with a Foundation board of directors of 32 members, she has raised $750,000-$1,000,000 annually in corporate and individual gifts. The Foundation’s annual drive has increased full-time employee financial giving to more than 90% participation rate.
In her work at the College that greatly affects women, Rhode co-created and administers ACC’s staff mentorship program to ensure that new employees develop resources outside their own departments; oversees ACC’s student ambassadors, a leadership development program; works with numerous benefactors that has resulted in providing financial support for various summer enrichment opportunities for youth, including the Ladies in Technology camp for high school students; won a National Science Foundation grant to organize and facilitate Girls Take Over Tech, an annual hands-on event at the College that introduces middle and high school girls to advanced manufacturing and trade careers. This event features local female professionals in fields such as mechatronics, machining, and welding who provide encouragement to the young women attending the event.
Rhode’s volunteer activities include secretary of Rotary Club of Alamance since 2006; troop leader for Carolina Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scouts; President of NC Council of Resource Development in 2010; Board member of United Way of Alamance, 2006-2010; and Board member of Alamance Partnership for Children, 2011-2015.
Rising Star Award – Yazmin Garcia Rico
The Rising Star Award goes to a woman under age 40 who demonstrates excellence in mentoring, community development, philanthropy, and business.
Award recipient Yazmin Garcia Rico is a part-time ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) instructor at Alamance Community College. She was among four nominees.
Garcia Rico is passionate about serving her community and improving the quality of life of everyone in the county. Her professional life and volunteer activities demonstrate her devotion to improving the health and wellness of the community.
Garcia Rico is on the board of the Medication Management Clinic, Open Door Clinic, United Way of Alamance County, and the NC Farmworker Health Program. She works extensively to improve the conditions for farm workers, helps immigrants know their rights, and monitors and responds to legislation affecting immigrants and communities of color.
She also teaches citizenship classes at May Memorial Library for Alamance Community College two evenings a week.
Through these activities and more, Yazmin is leading the way to a better life for many members of the community.