Community volunteer Jackie Lomax received the Allstate Give Back Day Hero 2013 Award this past January. Allstate’s Give Back day is a national program put in place to encourage individuals to volunteer by shining a spotlight on those making waves in the means of giving back. She was awarded this honor with a few others, as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month for her work in the community.
In 2008, Lomax founded the non-profit Girls 4 Science. Faced with a lack of community based science programs, she took it upon herself to start a program of her own, to not only provide a resource for her daughter but other young girls seeking a leg up on their future careers. Girls 4 Science now serves young girls and women aged 10 to 18 and aims to increase literacy in science through discovery and collaboration with external partnerships throughout the community. The ultimate goal of the program is to further the reach of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
As part of their recognition, Lomax joined the other award recipients at The King Center’s “Salute to Greatness” Awards in Atlanta on January 19th. Lomax also was able to participate in a volunteer activity in Chicago this past Martin Luther King weekend. Additionally, Allstate will be making a $2,500 donation on behalf of Lomax to the charity organization of her choice.
“Visiting Atlanta for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday celebration was a true honor. He has been the example of change and an inspiration to the work that I do. I will use the Allstate Give Back Hero Award to recruit more heroes in my community. I will share the award with people of all ages as an example that change starts at any level and to showcase how it takes a village to raise a child,” Lomax said.
Girls 4 Science has proved to be an invaluable resource that provides hands-on experience and professional mentorship. In working with these underdeveloped communities, Lomax has provided a resource for the previously under served community that in turn has boosted self-esteem, awareness, relationships and ultimately in helping girls overcome barriers that might have prevented them from achieving success.
Lomax has worked with a variety of institutions throughout the community. “I am involved in other community organizations such as Chicago Roseland Coalition for Community Control which has had to close its doors due to funding. In the past I served as a Career Counselor to people seeking to re-enter the work force. I have also supported Girls Scouts as a troop leader. I have also worked with Roseland Community Center in support of the homeless food drives,” said Lomax.
She also has a few words for others looking start their own non-profit, “I would encourage them and personally take the time to mentor them. There are a lot of programs that can help with establishing the non-profit, which will help make things a lot easier. I will also advise them of the full-time commitment when serving others and the business side of being a nonprofit. The world will be even richer because of their commitment to serve others.
For those looking to get involved with Girls 4 Science, the program is always seeking new volunteers for a variety of projects including science instruction, host fundraisers and chaperoned field trips.