Yvette McGee Brown '85 Honored with Public Service Award
The college is proud to announce the winner of the 2007-2008 Moritz Public Service Award, Yvette McGee Brown '85. Her life's focus on serving children, youth and families has improved access to justice and community resources for those most in need of support.
As a judge on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas — Domestic Relations Division, she founded programs that are still working for the youth of Central Ohio today: SMART, a truancy and educational neglect prevention program, and the Family Drug Court.
While president of the Board of Trustees of YWCA Columbus, Yvette led the effort to open the area's first front-door emergency shelter for families. Since the YWCA Family Center began in 2005, it has been recognized nationally for its programs and innovative coordination of private and public funding streams. The Center provides a variety of community-based services to give crucial resources to temporarily homeless families, so that they can find and maintain housing.
Now as CEO of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, a collaboration between Children's Hospital and the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, she helps bring together essential service agencies — including the Prosecutor's Office, Sheriff's Office, Police and Children's Services — to break the cycle of violence for families at risk.
Her community commitment extends to other organizations as well, through service on the boards of the United Way of Central Ohio, Limited Brands Foundation, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, the OSU Alumni Association, I Know I Can, and YWCA Columbus.
Nominator and president/CEO of YWCA Columbus Cynthia Lazarus says, "Most of her professional career has centered on children, youth and families. Regardless of her responsibilities, be it as judge, mother or CEO, her goal always seems to be 'what can I do that will point this young person in the right direction?'"
For providing life-long service and direction to children and families in Central Ohio, Yvette is most deserving of the college's Public Service Award.