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Local News

April 13, 2013

SUCO honored by anti-poverty group

SUNY Oneonta’s contributions to the region have been recognized with Opportunities for Otsego’s annual Community Partnership Award.

The award is presented to an individual or organization that “has made a significant contribution to the community that positively affects low-income people and shows leadership in promoting healthy lives and thriving families,” the anti-poverty agency said in a press release this week.

“The contributions that SUNY Oneonta makes to Opportunities for Otsego significantly impact the lives of the families we serve,” said Dan Maskin, chief executive officer of Opportunities for Otsego. “Through consistent engagement in so many areas, the college exemplifies the spirit of Community Action and the importance of partnership in service and education.”

The organization chose Katherine Booan, a senior at Cooperstown High School to receive its Youth Award and Poletta Louis, a financial aid counselor at the Utica School of Commerce and a youth coordinator at the Assembly of God Church in Oneonta, to receive its Personal Achievement Award.

Booan has an “integral role in the student-run leadership program at her school,” the organization said in its press release, praising her for “volunteering her time and energy for a multitude of school- sponsored events and community service projects.”

Among those projects is a backpack food program to fight hunger in the Cooperstown School District. Booan collaborated with the local food bank, the national BackPack Program and school officials to ensure that children do not go hungry during weekends.

Louis arrived in Oneonta as a teenager from the Virgin Islands and “effectively utilized the small amount of assistance which she received to enable her and her family, to give back to her community and country,” Opportunities of Otsego said in its press release.

She earned an associate’s degree from Utica School of Commerce and bachelor’s and master’ss degrees from SUNY Oneonta.

The awards will be presented at Opportunities for Otsego’s annual fundraising banquet on April 27 the Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta. “Big Chuck” D’Imperio will be the master of ceremonies. Reservations and additional event details are available at

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