Reminder Assistant Editor
LONGMEADOW - Life has come full circle for Denise Jordan, a civil rights officer and president of the 5-A Football Association, who was recently honored as one of the Girl Scouts of the Pioneer Valley's Women of Distinction.
This prestigious annual award, which is given to five women who excel in their field, perhaps means most to her. When Jordan is officially honored on March 8 at The Log Cabin in Holyoke, her own childhood mentor, Cellastine Bailey, will also be honored.
"It is a great honor when I think about all of the female role models that impacted me," Jordan said. "Cellastine Bailey was a mentor and councilor for me at the Girl Scouts family center and now we are being honored together."
When she has a moment off from teaching her fifth grade class and her students at Cambridge College, Bailey has spent the last 18 years mentoring young women in the Springfield Girl Scout Family Center.
"They need to see an example," Bailey said about her dedication to the girls. "People just like them who make it and succeed no matter what obstacles they think might be in the way."
Each of the five women were awarded for their specialty; Jordan for philanthropy, Bailey for education, Alice Babcock, vice president of Westfield Bank, for business, Executive Director of JELUPA Productions Inc. L'Kuicha Parks for the arts and Cheryl Condon, coach and faculty member of Elms College for health and fitness.
"These women are being recognized by their peers for performing above and beyond in their careers and community which is what girl scouting is all about," explained Shelly Kolb, president of the local chapter of the Girl Scouts of America.
"This is a tremendous honor because I was a girl scout," Parks said. "I've seen all of the women who have come before me so I feel that this is a true blessing."
During last week's conference at Bay Path College to announce the honorees, five current girl scouts were assigned to interview the women and to later introduce them at the banquet. Carol Leary, president of the college has hosted this event pre-cursor in her home for the past several years.
"Isn't the mission of all of us to help these young girls reach their potential and live fulfilling lives," Leary said addressing the 2007 Women of Distinction. "You become the role models of our girl scouts but you also become the mentors and role models for all of us."
For more information about the 2007 Women of Distinction award banquet, contact Brenda Wolfe at 525-4124 ext. 32.