Spirit Awards

The Educators Consortium for Service Learning links educators and parents to deepen service learning practice. We are most appreciative of those special individuals who generously contribute their novel ideas, invaluable time and insightful contributions for the benefit of our participating members and choose to honor them annually with our “Spirit Award.”

In 2019, ECSL lost one of its earliest leaders, Ann Nelson, a most ardent supporter for advancing genuine service learning. Her creative energy and generosity resonates through the spectacular “spirit dolls” she hand-stitched and decorated for this annual recognition of an exceptional ECSL participant. Henceforth, the honor became the “Ann Nelson Spirit Award.” Her legacy lives on through these continued efforts to grow meaningful Service Learning. 

Congratulations to Jonny Rogers ECSL’s 2020 Ann Nelson Spirit Award Winner
Jonny is ECSL’s first “virtual” recipient for this important acknowledgement.  As
Director of Community Service and Outdoor Service Learning & Yoga instructor at Campbell Hall School, he has helped launch our vital zoom-conversations and has guided ECSL members’ “taking a deep breath” throughout this challenging pandemic. He always brings fresh ideas and compassion for preserving our SL community. Huruma (Compassion) has been awarded to honor him along with a donation to the Center for Racial Justice in Education.


Congratulations to Tanynya Hekymara ECSL’s 2019 Ann Nelson Spirit Award Winner

Tanynya, Director of Admissions and Civic Engagement, received Dari (Leader) a heart chakra spirit doll. Tanynya inspires ECSL participants continually opening our eyes to what we are not seeing and hearing. Her voice on our Strategy Council is invaluable and her passion for equity brought us to the beautiful Oaks School campus for meaningful conversations with students and faculty. ECSL supported Tanynya’s  commitment to ease childhood hunger with a donation to No Kid Hungry.
Congratulations to Phu Tranchi ECSL’s 2018 Spirit Award Winner


As the Director of Experiential Learning at Oakwood School, Phu’s remarkable impact on Oakwood students and his partnership with ECSL made him an obvious choice to receive this award. Phu is a phenomenal service learning practitioner with his own students and continues to share these stories with our consortium to enhance the professional development of our members. Phu’s doll is named Maono (visionary), and and ECSL honors his vision with a donation to Food Forward

Congratulations to Renee Larios, Winner of the 2017 Spirit Award

IMG_3569ECSL thanks Renee, Community Outreach Coordinator at Polytechnic School, for her role on the ECSL Advisory Team, as well as her willingness to contribute to workshop presentations and share resources with ECSL members. Her doll is entitled Kiongosi (guide).


img_2801Congratulations to Kathy Hakim the 2016 Recipient

The doll named Msukumo (meaning inspiration) was awarded to Kathy Hakim, one of our longest participating members! Kathy has given so much of herself to ECSL not only running all our bookstores, making RSVP calls, helping with a multitude of operational matters, participating in our dynamic strategy sessions, but also contributing financially to help strengthen ECSL’s reach and effectiveness. Her dedication is cherished. ECSL also recognized Lauren Miller for her motivation and meaningful work with Women Sex Trafficking. A donation was made to the League of Women Voters Social Justice Campaign.

IMG_1923Congratulations to Sarah Culberson the 2015 Recipient

Sarah was presented with the handmade doll, Yemma (meaning love), at our fall meeting. For all her contributions, ECSL chose to support Sierra Leone Rising, which she co-founded to improve education, bring clean drinking water, and provide sustainable opportunities for the people of Sierra Leone.

Congratulations to Sammy Lyon the 2014 Recipient

In appreciation for her contributions sharing new technologies and environmental education, Furaha (joy) was presented. In Sammy’s name, support was provided to Heifer International to help families feed themselves with seeds, chickens and sustainable farming training.

Kulia-MarissaCongratulations to Marissa Nadjarian, 2013 Recipient

For all her contributions to ECSL and our members. This doll, named Kulia (nurture) honors Marissa who is a new mother herself. In her name, ECSL supported the efforts of a young mother, Phimea, who lived in Kenya and is developing a coal business, through KIVA, a global micro-lending organization.

Gen-ZahraCongratulations to Zahra Dowlatabadi, 2012 Recipient

The doll, named Gen (hope) honors Zahra for her contributions to ESCL and our members. In her name, ECSL supported Bead For Life, which works to eradicate poverty through women-led fair-trade sustainable businesses.

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