FLINT — Presenting Sponsor Hurley Foundation, Title Sponsor ELGA Credit Union and the Sybyl Award Committee honor our diverse community of volunteers with the annual Sybyl Award. Trying times are when we need volunteers the most.
They help the community with kindness, encouragement and hope. Sybyl M. Atwood devoted her life to those ideals as program director for Volunteer Information Services at Resource Genesee.
The virtual ceremony, with production partner Mott Community College, honored 12 of Genesee County’s most revered volunteers for 2020. After hearing stories of their impact on our community, the Sybyl Award has been presented to two winners: Shirley Cochran from Motherly Intercession and Dr. Srinivas (Bobby) Mukkamala from Michigan State Medical Society. Lifetime Sybyl Recipient is Danielle Nadine Brown (posthumous) of Flint & Genesee Literacy Network.
Motherly Intercession was founded as a grassroots organization in 1999 when Shirley Cochran and six members of the community committed to organizing a meaningful service project in the Genesee County Jail for children whose incarcerated mothers would not be home with them for Christmas. Since then, this work has been a labor of love for Shirley who has filled the Executive Director’s position for the past 20 years and received no monetary compensation for her efforts during the first ten years. Shirley is a non-stop person who impresses with her spirit, honesty, compassion, integrity and love for the kids and families.
Dr. Mukkamala is very involved in various medical and community activities. He is past president and still serves on the board of the Genesee County Medical Society. He is the president of the Michigan State Medical Society and chairelect of the American Medical Association. Dr. Mukkamala also devotes his time to Flint’s Downtown revitalization efforts as past chairman of the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and he served on the board of the Crim Fitness Foundation. Mukkamala has been chairman of the Foundation for Flint, Flint Kids Learn and is involved with several downtown businesses. Dr. Bobby has been a strong advocate in combating opioid addiction through his involvement with the AMA, MSMS and the Genesee County Medical Society. He also mentors high school students to help them prepare for their ACTs. Dr. Bobby is such a compassionate and caring person and a big cheerleader for Flint.
Danielle Nadine Brown
Danielle worked tirelessly to establish Two-generation approaches to literacy in Flint. Two-generation approaches provide opportunities to address the needs of vulnerable children and the adults in their lives together ensuring an intergenerational cycle of success. “Volunteerism is the only way” was instilled in Danielle as a young child and she could often be seen volunteering around the city. Danielle’s commitment to service could be seen through her endless hours of hands-on community involvement as well as the numerous leadership positions within local and regional community service organizations. She was always connecting families to services they needed or programs to help ease their situation and 18 with a longer-term goal of lifting them out of poverty. The compassion she had for children was evidenced not only in her community service but also by her literally taking in and raising many children, including nieces, nephews, godchildren and others. Described as mothering her community, Danielle probably took care of nearly a million kids throughout her 49 years of life in Flint.
This year’s other nominees included:
Adrian Walker – Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Andrea Bergstrom – Ruth Mott Foundation
Ann Marie Van Duyne – Flint Institute of Music
Cathleen Miller – University of Michigan Flint
Joseph A. Eufinger – Community Coach and Educator
Kendall Bragg – Student Central Michigan University
Linda Tracy-Stephens – Children’s Miracle Network – Hurley Foundation
Rebecca Fedewa – The Flint River Watershed Coalition
Tasia Bierbusse – Circle of Friends Child Care Center