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Community Recognition

NAMI North Texas Walk Your Way Award

​In order to continue to provide free mental health services to our North Texas community, peer fundraising is crucial.  Nearly 70% of our budget comes from individual and small business contributions, most of which rely on the efforts of our NAMIWalks participants.  The Walk Your Way Award recognizes any participant who has gone above and beyond to raise awareness and funds for NAMI North Texas through their role as a NAMIWalks team captain, walker, or both.  

2021 | Victoria Tortorelli

2020 | Robert Walters

Marion Shaw Community Support Award

In the words of former NAMI North Texas President Sherry Cusumano, “Marion Shaw was the epitome of integrity and dedication to others."  She loved helping others and passionately promoted the importance of building a supportive, nonjudgmental mental health community; a community we fondly refer to as our NAMI North Texas family.  In honor of Ms. Shaw, this award recognizes an organization that has gone out of its way to support our office and advocate in the community on our behalf.​

2021 | Patriot Paws

2020 | Beta Theta Pi, UT Arlington

Advocate of the Year Award

​Our Advocate of the Year is a change-maker who shows significant leadership in the mental health community by going out of their way to start the mental health conversation, reduce stigma, and promote NAMI North Texas through their own efforts, above and beyond their commitments as a volunteer. To earn this distinction, the awardee must be a NAMI North Texas volunteer who has contributed significant time to our organization this past year and is not afraid to shout their mental wellness message from the rooftops!

2021 | Claudia Smith

2020 | Alex Andrews

Young Adult of the Year Award

​As we know, 75% of mental illness symptoms present themselves before age 24.  Early intervention is therefore key to raising awareness and starting the mental health conversation before it’s too late.  Our young adult presenters and Ending the Silence programs are critical components of normalizing this discussion among adolescent students, their parents, and teachers.  This award recognizes one of our young adults who has stood out for their dedication to the Ending the Silence program and passion for early intervention.  This person has impacted young adults in North Texas through their story and at least four (4) Ending the Silence presentations this past year.

​2021 | Olivia Fan

2020 | ​Selina Sambar

New Volunteer of the Year Award

​This award symbolizes our continued commitment to our identity as a grassroots community service organization.  We cannot do what we do without the support of our community.  It is therefore incredibly important that we continue to recruit new volunteers and recognize those who have shown exceptional leadership potential and commitment to our NAMI North Texas family.  To qualify for this award, this individual must have started volunteering this calendar year, be a trained presenter, support group facilitator and/or class teacher, and have volunteered for at least five (5) programs in their first year.

​2021 | Tracy Green

2020 | ​Omar Olivarez

Dr. Sherry Cusumano
Distinguished Service Award

​The Distinguished Service Award is presented to one of our most active and reliable volunteers.  To qualify for such recognition, this person must be trained in two (2) or more volunteer roles and have actively served in those roles for more than one (1) year.  The awardee is not only a model mental health advocate, but someone who brings fresh ideas on how to better serve our community.

2021 | Kathy Giddings

2020 | Mary Kelley

Jerome & Hazel Byers Award

​This award is named after the late Mr. Jerome and Mrs. Hazel Byers, founding members of NAMI North Texas, former board members of several North Texas mental health organizations (including NAMI Dallas), and true pioneers in mental health advocacy for over 30 years.  The recipient of this award is recognized for their lifetime achievement as a mental health advocate and their commitment to the NAMI mission.  To qualify for this award, this person must have been part of the NAMI North Texas family for more than ten (10) years and be an active NAMI North Texas volunteer who has held multiple roles in our community from teaching and facilitating core NAMI programs to going above and beyond their role as a mental health advocate at the individual, local, regional, state, and/or national levels.

​2021 | Rolph Holt

2020 | ​Madeline Kelley