AME Youth Wins Top Service Prize, Grant Money by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Twelve-year-old Non-profit Founder Named Citizen of the Year by Fraternity’s Second District
(Rye Brook, NY) – The Second District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. named 12-year-old Grace Callwood, founder and chairwoman of the all-youth board of advisors of the We Cancerve Movement, Inc., their 2017 Citizen of the Year during their 69th annual conference, held at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, New York on May 6, 2017. Callwood is the youngest person to receive the prestigious honor. She is a member of St. James AME Church-Green Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where the Rev. Dr. Baron Young is the pastor.
Callwood won the coveted title for Aberdeen, Maryland-based Iota Nu Chapter of the Fraternity in November, which made her eligible to compete at the district level. The district is comprised of undergraduate and alumni chapters of the Fraternity in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Callwood received a plaque and is now in the running for the International Citizen of the Year. In a surprise announcement, Antonio F. Knox, Sr., grand basileus of the Fraternity, committed $5,000 to Callwood, a pediatric cancer survivor, to further her community service work.
“I am proud Miss Callwood received the Citizen of the Year Award from the 2nd District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The work of the We Cancerve Movement, Inc. is consistent with the service mission of Iota Nu Chapter, an unincorporated affiliate of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, which is to reach out and uplift the community for the betterment of all mankind. It is with great pride the collaboration of the Iota Nu Chapter and the We Cancerve Movement, Inc. has introduced Miss Callwood and her work to the 2nd District and a $5000 grant to support her efforts,” said Mark Thomas, basileus of Iota Nu Chapter, who is also a member of St. James. The Citizen of the Year Award is presented as a part of the Fraternity’s National Achievement Week observance, a program credited to renowned historian and Fraternity member Carter G. Woodson that became the precursor to today’s Black History Month observance. The recipient is selected from outstanding citizens nominated for unusual contributions to humanity, who have achieved recognition acclaimed by a significant segment of society for outstanding contributions to the welfare of mankind.
We Cancerve was founded in 2012 to bring happiness to sick, homeless, and foster children. To date, the non-profit has donated 1,193 Eggstra Special Easter Baskets to area homeless, sick, and foster children. Under Callwood’s leadership, We Cancerve has donated more than $9,000 in cash grants and $25,000 in products to four hospitals, eight homeless shelters and transitional programs, three local feeding ministries, and a foster care group home for teen girls. Donations also include nearly 150 new and like-new back-to-school clothes to homeless youth in We Cancerve’s Threads of Hope initiative; more than 400 TransFUNers kits to help hospitalized children decorate their IV poles; and more than 140 pounds of school supplies to children in Maryland and Kenya, East Africa.
The Iota Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has teamed with We Cancerve on several projects including two apartment rehabs for two families transitioning out of homelessness into housing; guest speakers; hands-on activity facilitators at We Cancerver’s “Camp Happy,” a free summer enrichment camp for homeless children at two shelters in our county; and the annual Sock Drive for homeless children, helping to collect more than 1,500 pairs of socks in 2015 and 2016.
Caption: Omega Men Emil Cromwell, a long-time resident of Havre de Grace and member of St. James AME Church-Green Street, Iota Nu Chapter Basileus Mark Thomas, and Grand Basileus Antonio F. Knox, Sr. join 12-year-old Grace Callwood, Second District Citizen of the Year. (Photo by James Witherspoon, Omega Psi Phi Director of Photography)