Two Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) employees were honored Saturday at the 11th Annual “Men of Honor” awards ceremony for their positive contributions to the Sacramento region. The winners included Dwight Harvey, the vice principal at El Centro Jr./Sr. High School, and Stephen Benson, a transition specialist at Eleanor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School.
A total of 16 Black men were recognized this year for having a positive impact on youth in the greater Sacramento area. Fittingly, the community tribute was held at SCOE’s newest junior/senior alternative education campus, which is named after the late Sacramento civil rights pioneer Nathanial S. Colley, Sr.
“All of their work is about a life of service and bettering their world,” said RoLanda Allaha Wilkins, founder and Executive Director of Earth Mama Healing, which sponsored the event. “Adults need to be celebrated for the guidance and direction they provide to young people.”
About the Award-Winning SCOE Staff
In addition to his work at El Centro, a SCOE Juvenile Court School located inside the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, Dwight Harvey is active in coaching youth leagues, brings empowerment symposiums to local high schools, and donates his time to support community functions. He sees the award as an opportunity to connect with a network that can support his work at El Centro, possibly by serving as mentors for SCOE students.
Stephen Benson, who works at Hickey, one of SCOE’s Community School sites, is a lifelong learner and educator who believes in the importance of students of color having positive and relevant interactions with people who look like them. “As a man of color, the positive impact I can make on our youth is invaluable and can create a duplicating effect for future generations,” Benson wrote in the printed program for the ceremony.
About the Awards Program
The “Men of Honor” awards were sponsored by Earth Mama Healing, a partner that offers mentoring support for SCOE students. Yours, Mine, Ours, and the Sacramento Urban Learning Academy were also sponsors. In total, more than 100 local men have been nominated by community members to receive the award. Recipients have included men from diverse professions, including coaches, educators, businessmen, parole officers, and more.