Resource Genesee Announces Sybyl Award Recipients

Resource Genesee Announces Sybyl Award Recipients

Community Volunteers Honored for Their Service

      Samantha Hoover                                                 Sabita Tummala

    Samantha Hoover                                                           Sabita Tummala

Two individuals are recipients of this year’s Sybyl Award. The award is presented annually at Resource Genesee’s Holiday Luncheon to an individual or individuals who have provided outstanding volunteer service.

            “We had such an amazing group of nominees that the selection committee agreed on honoring two people with the award,” said Lindsey Younger, President & CEO of Resource Genesee.

            This year’s winners are Samantha Hoover and Sabita Tummala. A committee chose the dual recipients from a pool of eleven nominees, all of whom were honored at the luncheon held today at Holy Redeemer Family Center in Burton and emceed by ABC-12 news anchor Matt Franklin. ELGA Credit Union is the lead sponsor of the Sybyl Award.

            The award honors the life of Sybyl M. Atwood, who served for more than 40 years as the program director for Volunteer and Information Services at Resource Genesee and its predecessor organizations. Atwood died in 2007. Sybyl’s sense of community and boundless energy influenced and strengthened the human service sector of Genesee County for more than four decades.

            Hoover has been the primary volunteer with the Flint Community Schools’ Continuation Program which serves pregnant teens and teenage mothers trying to complete their high school education. Hoover had a child as a teenager and is now married and mother of three. Beginning in 2010, she took her vision of combining a national program called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) with the Continuation Program which helps teen mothers obtain their diploma while pregnant or parenting. The program includes coordination of transportation, meal planning, child care, activities, and more.

            Tummala is the former director of clinical services at the Family Service Agency in Flint, a nonprofit agency that seeks to support people in need, keep them in their homes, and help enhance their emotional and physical quality of life. A tireless advocate for people in need,  Tummala created unofficial programs to address clients’ needs, including provision for an emergency fund to carry people through until their applications for help were processed. She also recognized that elderly members of the Indian-American communities were unable to access services due to language and other barriers. Tummala collaborated with Jewish Community Services in Flint to provide transportation and help for these seniors and launched a popular annual fundraiser to support the effort.

            She serves as chair of the Humanitarian Committee at Chinmaya Seva Samiti, a Hindu organization, and has worked with a variety of community organizations to promote Gandhi’s message of peace and nonviolence, initiating an essay writing competition for students in the Flint schools to reflect on peace. She aided the effort to place a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the University of Michigan-Flint campus where Tummala, who holds a master’s degree in social work, has been a strong supporter of the Social Work program.

            In addition to Hoover and Tummala, this year’s nominees included:

Alexander Isaac, International Affairs Center; Kathleen Kelly, New Life Center Volunteer; Dr. Rima Kudish, Genesee County Free Medical Clinic;  Ann Newman, The Disability Network Volunteer; Laurie Prochazka, McLaren Corporate Director of Marketing and Communications; Richard Ramsdell, Flint Farmers Market; Raynetta Speed, Genesee County Land Bank; Shannon Easter White, Funchitecture, Inc.; and Essence Wilson, Communities First, Inc.

Resource Genesee, a nonprofit organization, is home to numerous community programs including: the One Stop Housing Resource Center; 2-1-1, an information hotline; ReMix Genesee, a program for disconnected youth ages 16-24; HandsOn Genesee, the volunteer center for Flint & Genesee County; and Leadership Genesee, an adult leadership program. For more information, visit