Miss A Columnist

Amanda Ivarra is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating with a degree in Health, she moved to Austin and started working for a national non-profit organization. She spent 5 years coordinating community events and programs. After leaving the organization, she started to focus on her creative pursuits. Currently, she is working on developing her own jewelry line. Writing has always been a hobby for Amanda. For most of her life, she’s kept journals. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to take her writing public and began blogging and guest blogging. The one thing this girl can’t live without is music. Not really one to sing or play an instrument, she just loves music. Perhaps, it’s the songwriting that she admires so much or a good beat that she can dance to. Whether she’s attending a concert with friends, hanging out with the guys watching sports, volunteering in the community, hiking or visiting the newest places in town, Amanda lives to enjoy life. But, nothing brings more joy to her than being able to make someone smile or laugh!

Recap: Texas Nonprofit Awards Honor Area Leaders And Organizations

On Thursday, September 20th, Greenlights for Nonprofit Success and OneStar Foundation presented the Texas Nonprofit Awards as part of the Texas Nonprofit Summit, the premier nonprofit management conference for the State of Texas.  Hundreds of nonprofit professionals, board members, funders, government representatives and other community leaders attended the awards ceremony, which celebrated individuals and nonprofit organizations driving social change in Texas.

Sen. Kirk Watson (Photo Credit: Stacey Harrell, 501(c)andids Photography)

The program was emceed by Texas Senator, Kirk Watson, and entertainment was provided by Conspirare Youth Choir, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that engages audiences in extraordinary musical experiences through world-class choral performances and recordings.

Greenlights’ Nonprofit Excellence Awards (NPEA) recognized the outstanding achievements of Central Texas nonprofits in the categories of Collaboration, Impact, Innovation & Learning, Board Excellence and Nonprofit Leader of the Year.  Award recipients also received a $1,000 grant thanks to the generosity of award sponsors.

  • Collaboration – Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (Austin)
  • Impact – Workers Defense Project (Austin)
  • Innovation & Learning – Camp Fire Balcones (Austin)
  • Board Excellence – STRONG START (Austin)
  • Nonprofit Leader of the Year – Gerald L. Davis, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas (Austin)

OneStar Foundation’s Governor’s Volunteer Awards (GVA) honored some of Texas’ most dedicated community volunteers who give their time and talents to improve lives and strengthen our communities.  Individuals, organizations and corporations who embody the Texas tradition of community service were recognized in the categories of Governor’s Lonestar Achievement, First Lady’s Rising Star, Community Leadership, Social Innovator, Americorps*State and National “Getting Things Done,” Senior Corps Community Impact and VISTA Capacity Building.

Vince Trevino, Carolyn Schwarz and Tim Taylor (Photo Credit: Stacey Harrell, 501(c)andids Photography)

  • Governor’s Lonestar Achievement – Harvey E. Najim, Founder and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions (San Antonio)
  • First Lady’s Rising Star – Nya Watson, SafeHaven of Tarrant County (Fort Worth)
  • Community Leadership – Healthy Communities of Brownsville, Inc.
  • Social Innovator – Gordon V. Hartman (San Antonio)
  • AmeriCorps*State and National “Getting Things Done” – Kristen Aaltonen, 4-H CAPITAL (Austin)
  • Senior Corps Community Impact – Emily Thomas, Community Computer Ministry (Richards)
  • VISTA Capacity Building – Jenelle Thomson (Houston)

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