Impact Silver Spring is proud to announce the 2015 Momentum Award recipients! Since 2007, the annual Momentum Awards have honored unsung heroes who exemplify the skill and will to build vibrant multicultural communities. Momentum Award winners activate their networks to create social, economic, and civic momentum throughout Montgomery County, reflecting Impact’s mission to build thriving multicultural communities and strong local economies through community-based networks.
This year, Impact Silver Spring is excited to announce a new award category called the Momentum Maker Award. This award honors an established leader who goes beyond doing “good work” by pushing past boundaries of limiting beliefs and assumptions to find innovative and enduring solutions to the complex problems of our time.
Award winners will be honored at IMPACT Now! on May 7th, 2015 at the Fillmore Silver Spring. Visit the IMPACT Now! registration page for more event information.
After a rigorous and competitive process, an awards committee made up of diverse community members selected the following individuals as Impact's 2015 Momentum Award recipients:
Momentum Maker: Dr. DeRionne Pollard
Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard is the winner of the Momentum Maker Award for her work as President of Montgomery College. Dr. Pollard consistently weighs in on matters related to education equity, particularly as it relates to learners of color. For example, she worked with MCPS and the Universities at Shady Grove to create ACES, a program that helps prepare high school students for college. Furthermore, Dr. Pollard has tasked the college with creating a new posture for community engagement to make the campus more open. Dr. Pollard was a member of Impact Silver Spring’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014.
Social Momentum: Tamar Ruth
Tamar Ruth is the winner of the Social Momentum Award for her work as Assistant Principal at Greencastle Elementary School in the Briggs Chaney community in East County. By connecting diverse stakeholders, she has helped create new opportunities for students, such as academic and socio-emotional programs. Some of the institutional partnerships that Ms. Ruth has integrated into Greencastle Elementary School's programs include a reading-literacy tutoring program with the CommonWeal Foundation and a mentoring program for boys with the Institute for Building Men. Ms. Ruth works to improve network connections across the diverse school community, having been actively involved with the local NAACP, the East Count Community Circle, MCPS Equity Team, and the Advisory Board for the MCPS Office of Community Engagement and Partnership.
Economic Momentum: Megan Moriarty
Megan Moriarty is the winner of the Economic Momentum Award for her work as the Owner and Manager of Fenton Street Market. Ms. Moriarty participated as a vendor in the market in 2009 and then acquired the company in 2011. In 2012, Ms. Moriarty led efforts to keep the market in downtown Silver Spring when increased costs threatened to force it to move from its Veterans Plaza location. She has created an active vendor network to help small business owners share information, grow their businesses, and build a sense of camaraderie, making Fenton Street Market unique within the usually competitive market world. Prior to Fenton Street Market, Ms. Moriarty was a staff member at Impact Silver Spring, where she worked to build community networks in Wheaton.
Civic Momentum: Jessica Weiss
Jessica Weiss is the winner of the Civic Momentum Award for her work as the Founder and Executive Director of Growing SOUL, an organization that focuses on the creation of a just, interconnected, and sustainable food system for Montgomery Country. Her accomplishments include organizing panel discussions on the global food crisis for Silver Spring GreenFest and the Corporate Volunteer Council in 2014. Ms. Weiss's work also includes creating job training opportunities for the homeless. Frurthermore, Ms. Weiss has signed off on over 1,500 Student Service Learning hours, 350 apprentice hours, and 7,500 volunteer hours for the community-at-large. For the past four years, Ms. Weiss has ben doing all of her civic work as a volunteer.
Please join us in congratulating this year's Momentum Award Winners!