Fredericka G. Mabon
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
From the beginning, Fredericka G. Mabon had a unique perspective on the struggles of poor, immigrant women and children. Like many poor immigrant families, her mother, Rose, had to leave school in the 8th grade to help her own parents, by working and caring for her siblings. Her mother’s hopes for an education were limited and her many dreams of achievement went unrealized. This was an impression as well as the catalyst, that stayed with Ms. Mabon throughout her life.
Growing up, Ms. Mabon experienced many obstacles presented by discrimination, prejudice and poverty. It is because of this personal experience that she made it her life’s mission, as a social worker and educator, to advocate for children, women, immigrants and the disadvantaged. After earning a degree in Social Work, Ms. Mabon focused on developing programs designed to promote education through mentoring, scholarships and educational conferences. Since the inception of these programs, hundreds of young people and women have been given the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.
In 2001, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House gave Ms. Mabon the opportunity to open a senior center in Midtown Manhattan at Saint Peter’s Church. Today, through her leadership and guidance, the Center concentrates on health and wellness, providing much needed services for New York’s diverse senior population. With a membership of almost 4,000, it is considered a model for senior centers, as it helps alleviate the problems of social isolation and depression that are common amongst the elderly.
Throughout Ms. Mabon’s professional and personal life, she has focused on improving the quality of life for those less fortunate. Through helping others realize their aspirations, Ms. Mabon has attempted to fulfill her own mother’s dream.