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Metro Council Newsroom

Councilman Blackwell honored with “Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award”

Friday March 15, 2013

For immediate release
Democratic Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622

Louisville – To the people of District 12 in Metro Louisville, Rick Blackwell is their Councilman. But as an educator for over 29 years, he has spent much of his life shaping and influencing those not yet old enough to vote.

The latter is why he is one of nine people to receive Kentucky’s Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award for 2013. “It is a wonderful feeling to be honored for something that you love doing,” said Blackwell. “It is important to empower our students to create a better world by working with elected officials to address systemic change.”

Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes presented the winners at the Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award during the 2013 PNC/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament on Friday in Lexington at Center Court in Rupp Arena.

“I am constantly inspired by young Kentuckians who exhibit the values, skills and enthusiasm that are the hallmarks of responsible citizens,” said Grimes. “I know that behind each of them is an unsung hero who invested his or her own talents and energy into the success of this state and its youth, and this award is a great opportunity to recognize them for their outstanding work.”

Councilman Blackwell believes that teaching students how to work with government officials and agencies can be a vital part of implementing change. “I have been fortunate to meet a lot of great people in politics who are trying to make their community a better place. Students need to know that there are public servants who really care and want them to be a part of the process,” said Blackwell.

As the Service Learning and Leadership Coordinator at Mercy Academy in Louisville, Councilman Blackwell has designed a unique program which aids students in growing their leadership skills. Students create and implement their own service action plans which create permanent and long-term changes in the Louisville community and beyond. The program inspires students to “Be the Difference” and encourages them to become active citizens seeking change in critical areas such as poverty, racism, immigration, women's rights, and the environment.

“Service learning is a huge part of who we are at Mercy. I am proud to receive the award and I thank Secretary Grimes for the honor,” said Blackwell.

Aside from the award, Blackwell received a $500 award to be used for school resources and equipment at Mercy Academy.

Joining Blackwell as finalists:

· Marshall Ward (Calloway County High School)

· Michael T. Baker (Hancock County Industrial Foundation)

· Lisa White (Russellville Independent Schools)

· Timothy Holman (DuPont Manual High School)

· Lindsay Duke (Grant County High School)

· Brian McDowell (Mason County Middle School)

· Helen Williams (Hazard High School)

· Kelly J. Wilson (Bath County Schools)

Rick Blackwell (D) 12