Done good: Sunset Parker honored for work helping Bklyn’s immigrants

Leading ladies: From left, the president of the New York Women’s Foundation Ana Oliveira honored Brooklynites Alyssa Aguilera, a co-executive director of Vocal New York, Cynthia Gordy Giwa, the creator of website Black-Owned Brooklyn, and Dr. Julia Jean-Francois, a co-director of the Center for Family Life, at the organization’s annual Neighborhood Dinner this month.
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Lets hear it for the girl!

A Sunset Parker who provides social services to some of the borough’s neediest took home a special honor at a citywide women’s organization’s swanky dinner this month.

Leaders of the New York Women’s Foundation named Dr. Julia Jean-Francois a winner of the group’s Neighborhood Leadership Award at the Nov. 15 celebration for her work at Sunset Park’s Center for Family Life, which offers programs that help low-income immigrants to Kings County get on their feet, including family counseling, foster care, and employment services.

The 39th Street center between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, which is operated by do-good group SCO Family of Services, opened its doors back in 1978, and today aids some 15,000 people and 8,000 families annually, according to its website.

Jean-Francois, who did not return a request for comment by press time, works as the co-director of the facility, whose staff she joined back in 2003, according to her resume.

Members of the Women’s Foundation presented another Neighborhood Leadership Award to the co-executive director of Gowanus’s Vocal New York, Alyssa Aguilera, whose work at the organization that provides resources to folks struggling with addiction and other illnesses helped triple the amount of such services offered in the borough, they said.

And foundation bigwigs also recognized Brooklynite Cynthia Gordy Giwa with a Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award for supporting black-owned businesses on her website, Black-Owned Brooklyn.

The trio of females honored at the group’s annual Neighborhood Dinner — which this year took place at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Café on Lafayette Avenue between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place — make the borough a better place for all residents by empowering some of its most in-need locals, according to the foundation’s president.

“Through their work, they give voice and visibility to people who might otherwise be overlooked,” said Ana Oliveira. “We thank them for their leadership.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 12:00 am, November 21, 2018
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