CHHS Student, Assistant Dean and Volunteer Recognized at 34th Annual YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

CHHS Student, Assistant Dean and Volunteer Recognized at 34th Annual YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

On May 7, social work student Jessica Aguilar, Assistant Dean for Student Success Sheri Shaw and Chair of the CHHS Dean’s Advancement Council Louise Coggins won awards at the 34th Annual Women of Achievement Awards.

The awards recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of women and young leaders who are active in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties.

Aguilar, who is an established member of UNCW’s Centro Hispano, won a $1,500 Student Impact Grant. In addition, she serves as the coordinator for the Juntos 4th Mentoring Program at Pender High School, which helps Latino students achieve high school graduation and pursue higher education. Aguilar leads 30 rural high-school-aged students and their community on the journey to engagement through education. She mentors and engages administrators, parents and community partners to build support systems for Latino students. Her grant proposal outlined objectives to continue to serve the Latino population by supporting students with free SAT and ACT test prep sessions, instructional books and trips to visit college campuses.

Shaw received the Women of Achievement Award in the education category. As a first-generation college student, Shaw has fought to provide resources to underserved communities and students, with a focus to build awareness, equitable resources and education. Professionally, she participated in the Leadership Wilmington Program and the Leadership North Carolina Program, and is currently serving a three-year term on the Leadership North Carolina Board of Directors. Shaw was the youngest to be awarded the Larine Y. Cowan “Make a Difference” Award by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and the Robert P. Larsen Human Development Award from the University of Illinois.

Coggins, who has been a psychotherapist at Trinity Wellness for more than four decades, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Coggins is passionate about racial justice and gender equity and shares YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. As a college student, she was an advocate for civil rights and for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She has served as the Chair of the Board at the UNC School of Social Work; Chair of the Board of VISIONS, a non-profit international multi-cultural antiracism training organization; Chair of the Board of Directors of the Wright’s Center, an adult day health center; and Chair of the Board of Make Way Partners, an international organization combating human trafficking and sex slavery. In all aspects of her life and throughout her career, she has been a leader in advocating for women, victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

Additionally, Clinical Research and Graduate Program Coordinator Susan Sinclair was honored as a nominee in the education category.