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Congratulations to the recipients of the United Tribes of North Carolina Community Awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the United Tribes of North Carolina Community Awards; Dr. Ruth Dial Woods, Leon Jacobs, Kenny Clark, Kaylee Ransom and Dylan K. Hammonds. The awards were presented at the August meeting of the Lumbee Tribal Council.

Dr. Ruth Dial Woods received the Unsung Hero Award. Dr. Ruth Dial Woods is one of the founders of Sacred Pathways, a faith-based outreach ministry that provides a safe haven for those in need in Robeson County. For 27 years, Dr. Woods supported students in the Public Schools of Robeson County as a teacher, educational media specialist, director of federal programs, and assistant and associate superintendent. In 1993, Dr. Woods became a full-time faculty member at Fayetteville State University.

Leon Jacobs received the Distinguished Service to the Indian Community Award. Mr. Leon is an advocate of and within different capacities for Native People across the United States. Mr. Jacobs’ career equipped him with experience and knowledge in Economic Development, Management, Community Services, and Financial Development. Jacobs began his career as a Senior Resource Officer with the City of Birmingham, Alabama. Following his stint as a Senior Resource Officer, Jacobs became the Jackson County Government’s first Youth Court Administrator. As the Administrator, Jacobs oversaw the Court, Detention facility, Emergency Shelter for abused and neglected youth, as well as the Probation Counseling Department.

From 1994 to 2007, Jacobs served as the Tribal Administrator for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. As Tribal Administrator for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe from 1994 to 2004, Jacobs assisted with the development of services and programs, culture activities, as well as a museum to protect Pequot history. Serving as the Lumbee Tribe’s Tribal Administrator from 2004 to 2007, Jacobs unfroze HUD funding, developed the first comprehensive tribal budget, as well as assisted in creating tribal organization structure.

Kenny Clark received the Distinguished Service to Indian Education Award. He recently retired as the Cultural Enrichment Specialist for the Public Schools of Robeson County Indian Education Program. Prior to becoming the Cultural Enrichment Specialist, Mr. Clark served as the Dropout Prevention Specialist and as a Youth Development Specialist for Robeson County Schools. Mr. Clark has been instrumental in providing cultural activities for decades for American Indian students in Robeson County. Many years ago, he helped design and implement cultural programming for Cultural Academies as well as the Summer Enrichment Program. He is one of the most knowledgeable individuals of Lumbee Culture which is evident by his design of the Robeson County Lumbee Tour that he provides for students and adults. Not only does he provide cultural activities for K-12 students, he has also provided cultural workshops for many undergraduate students as well.

Kaylee Ransom received the Distinguished American Indian Student College Award. Kaylee is majoring in Psychology at UNC Chapel Hill. Kaylee plans to become an occupational therapist. She recently participated in the Rural Medicine Project. She completed research on COVID-19 rates in Robeson County. She documented how the pandemic impacted day to day operations for health care providers. Her college cohort presented their research to UNC donors and medical school personnel. Kaylee will graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2022. She will be pledging the Alpha Pi. Kaylee is from the Saddletree Community.

Dylan K. Hammonds received the Distinguished American Indian High School Student Award. Dylan is an intelligent young man who has demonstrated academic excellence through his commitment to his schoolwork. Dylan’s current academic records has him in the top ten percent of his class of 354 students. His recent cumulative unweighted GPA is 3.833 and a weighted 4.133. He is a member of the National Beta Club, National Honor Society and is eligible to be a North Carolina Scholar. Dylan’s stellar academic record has afforded him opportunities to participate in several programs which include: Project ACCESS at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (a STEM program), Native Education Forum at North Carolina State University (a college preparatory program), and Carolina Horizons at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (college preparatory program).

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