DCHA salutes three female community leaders who have been honored as “Ward 7 Women of Excellence.”
Dannielle Hamilton of Benning Terrace, Patricia Malloy of Lincoln Heights, and Denise Stanley of Kenilworth Courts were among the honorees at the East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative March 31st awards ceremony.
“To the awardees, we salute you for being exemplary and leading by example,” wrote ERFSC Executive Director Mae H. Best in a statement. “You make us and the Ward 7 community proud and we are so happy to be able to honor you.”
Hamilton moved to the Benning Terrace community in 2009. She has always loved working with children. She began working in her neighborhood in 2011 when she started the organization “Women Embracing and Loving Life” with her friend.
“I service the community where I live,” she said. “I help out the youth there in everyday things, services they need to get to. I just provide myself to them.”
Hamilton is well known in the community for running the Benning Terrace Aftercare program. She helps children who come to the community center with tutoring and homework. She also provides advice and counseling to teens and is sure to encourage all of the children in her care.
“I make sure they have a healthy meal each day and on Fridays we do a fun activity,” she said. “But I also work with the older youth and connect them to services they need such as employment or getting back into school.”
Hamilton is also vice president of the Benning Terrace Resident Council. She is raising seven children and aspires to open a youth center that will be a safe haven for troubled young people.
Winning a Ward 7 Women of Excellence award meant a lot to Hamilton.
“It shows me that people are looking at what I do,” she said. “I’m honestly not one who likes to be recognized for things I do. I do what I do for my heart, for the passion that I have for people.”
Patricia Malloy said her focus is currently on the youth in her community, but she loves helping people of all ages. A former 35-year employee of DCHA, Malloy has been the chair of the Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings New Communities Initiative since 2006 and an advisory neighborhood commissioner for 7C01 since 2008. She has served on several committees and volunteers her time with a number of organizations, including the Aiton Elementary School’s PTA where she served as president from 2014 to 2015.
“I’ve been an advocate for Lincoln Heights since 2008,” said Malloy, who said she enjoyed being honored. “I wear so many hats. I love helping people.”
Whether it is helping people get trained for work, finding jobs, or informing them on their rights, Malloy is there. Right now she is working to find activities for the youth this summer and is focusing on literacy services.
“I’m working with the city to see if we can get some kind of programming to focus on literacy. Fun and games are fine but the majority of the summer should be focused on reading and literacy,” Malloy said. “For our adults we have job training, [Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings NCI] has a human capital component focusing on job training for the head of the household. That is what their focus is on. So somebody has to focus on the youth.”
Another staunch community advocate, Denise Stanley, is a protégé of Kimi Gray in the Kenilworth community. For the past 20 years Stanley has been working to hone her community leadership and advocacy skills. She has held many positions on the Kenilworth Courts Resident Council and has acted as president for the past 10 years.
Stanley was honored for taking care of everyone in the community where she has lived for 44 years. She was credited for keeping the area’s history alive and hosting events that draw large crowds.