Lifetime of work leads to achievement award from Case Western Reserve University
CLEVELAND — Magda Gomez learned the importance of community service at the feet of her father while growing up in Cleveland. Those early lessons formed the foundation for a career helping others.
Actually, make that an “award-winning” career.
Gomez, the director of diversity and inclusion at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®), received the Louis Stokes Community Achivement Award on Oct. 15 in recognition of her socially-minded work.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University presented Gomez with the award while naming her one of its Centennial Alumni Award winners.
“This award exemplifies the work and vision of Congressman Stokes, and for this I am truly honored, humbled and grateful,” Gomez said.
The school at CWRU recognized 100 outstanding alumni as part of a centennial celebration commemorating its founding as America’s first university-affiliated professional school of social work. Honorees also were inducted into the newly-established Mandel School Hall of Achievement.
Gomez graduated from the Mandel School in 2004 with a master’s of science in social administration. She attended through the Louis Stokes Fellowship in Community and Social Development Program.
The Stokes Fellowship provides scholarships to African American and Hispanic students who have demonstrated community leadership. Gomez was in the program’s first class.
The idea of community service was instilled in Gomez from an early age by her father, Gerardo Gomez, who held community meetings in the family’s Cleveland home. He was a founding board member of the Spanish American Committee and first president of the Bilingual Parent Union representing families with children in the Cleveland schools in the early 1980s.
After earning an associate degree at Tri-C and bachelor’s degree at John Carroll University, Gomez became a community organizer at the Ohio City Near West Development Corp. She later served a two-year term on the board of education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District
After earning her master’s degree from CWRU, she worked for Invest in Children, the early childhood initiative of Cuyahoga County. Gomez also contributed to the effort to make Spanish-language ballots available in Cuyahoga County.
Gomez joined Tri-C in 2012. She also serves on The Hispanic Roundtable, a community-based organization serving and empowering Northeast Ohio’s Hispanic population.
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