Staff Sergeant Charles A. Johnson is a true American hero, described as a soldier’s soldier with a passion to serve his community and country.
Sergeant Johnson was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 18, 1950; he is the fourth of twelve children and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 19. In 1969, he enlisted in the United States Army so that he could protect his fellow citizens. He completed basic and advanced training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, five months later.
Helene Leonardi is a renowned sculptor and folk-pop artist residing in Brooklyn, New York.
In 1982, Ms. Leonardi and her husband moved to Brooklyn, where she began her professional art career. Her sculptures have been exhibited in museums and art galleries throughout New York City and can be found in many collections abroad. After nearly two decades of success, she began to share her skill and knowledge through art programs at local organizations and schools.
Master Sergeant (MSgt.) Zulma L. Novoa is a United States Air Force Health Service Management Craftsman, currently serving with the 514th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst, New Jersey.MSgt. Novoa enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserve in 2001 and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Evelyn Cardona has dedicated her life to empowering and educating victims of domestic violence.
A survivor of domestic violence, Ms. Cardona is founder and executive director of the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence. Under her guidance and leadership, the organization provides services to nearly 800 Brooklyn families annually.
A staunch advocate, Ms. Cardona is also the assistant program director of Urban Women’s Retreat, one of New York City’s largest domestic violence shelter providers under the Urban Resource Institute. In this capacity she provides emergency domestic violence shelter placement to victims of domestic violence.
Chandra S. Morgan is a New York City Council Legislative Clerk and life-long community activist.
Born in Leonora, Guyana, Ms. Morgan immigrated to the United States in 1995 and began working at the Guyana Mission to the United Nations. Putting her travel and tourism experience to work, Ms. Morgan left the Mission in 1999 to become an International Institute of Travel Director where she remained until 2007.
Ms. Morgan’s career in the public sector began soon after in the accounting unit of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. She soon branched out into community activism and campaigns throughout New York City.
While in the military, Mr. Leon was awarded numerous medals for his service and achievements. During an overseas military exercise, Mr. Leon suffered burns over 76% of his body while risking his life to save the life of another soldier when a heater exploded in a tent. Doctors thought Mr. Leon’s military career was over. Though he was badly burned, his dedication to this great nation was stronger, and Mr.Leon returned stateside and went on to jump school at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Throughout her career, Barbara Medina has become a voice amongst the voiceless and has shown the value of being an independent woman.
Alongside a successful marketing career, Ms. Medina became an advocate for neglected and abused children and found countless allies in meeting others who have dedicated their lives fighting for abused children. In 2006, Ms. Medina took her advocacy a step further and joined forces with a nonprofit organization named Emergency Rights. She began lobbying for legislation, which today is known as The Nixzmary Brown Law.