Young Center’s Maria Woltjen Honored with American Red Cross Award

The American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois honored community leaders including Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights Founder and Executive Director Maria Woltjen at the organization’s 17th Annual Heroes Breakfast on May 1, 2019. Maria was honored with the Global Citizenship Award for two decades of tireless work for immigrant children’s rights at the Young Center and beyond.

Honored for their outstanding acts of heroism, dedication, and service in Chicago and Northern Illinois, the 11 Red Cross Heroes included:

- Ashley Valentine and Marqus Valentine, co-founders of Sick Cells, an organization that serves those with sickle cell disease

- Raydell Lacey, mother of a shooting victim and founder of Not Before My Parents, an organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by violence

- Dr. John Kahler, co-founder of MedGlobal an international relief organization working to create a world without healthcare disparity

- Detective Sergeant Paul Clampitt, for saving the life of local coach and teacher Ken Iverson

- Daniel Ramos, Chicago firefighter and emergency medical technician

- Sebastian Duncan, good Samaritan who sacrificed his life to save another

- Officer Mark Dallas, injured in line of duty while stopping an active shooter at a high school

- Mary Carmody, founder of Midwest Veterans Closet, an organization serving veterans

- Nancy Romanchek, helped establish Islamic Foundation North Health Clinic, a free clinic for the uninsured and under-insured in Lake County

- Megan Bugg, survivor and advocate for childhood cancer research

Maddie Witters