Alvirita Little Award
Alvirita Little contributed more than 50 years of professional and volunteer service in support of youth and families in Seattle. Her legacy of community involvement has been an inspiration to all of us at Therapeutic Health Services. The granddaughter of a slave, Alvirita grew up among German immigrant farmers in Spring, Texas. Her first experience in social work came in 1925, when she organized a Women's League at her church to help families in need. In the 1950’s Alvirita moved to Seattle, where she instituted the area’s first community program for young girls: the Girls’ Club of Puget Sound, known today as Girls Inc. YWCA. Alvirita served as executive director of the Girls’ Club for 19 years, overseeing the club’s move into its own building on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Upon retiring, Alvirita continued her service to the community by hosting overseas students attending the University of Washington and volunteering for the American Red Cross and the VA Hospital. She was also an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts, who presented her with the William H. Spurgeon III award in 1980.
The Alvirita Little Award
For selfless dedication and tireless commitment, in honor of Alvirita Little. In 1988, the Board of Directors of Therapeutic Health Services created an award to honor an individual or organization that has contributed continuously and selflessly to help children, youth, adults and families at-risk—especially those affected by chemical dependency and mental illness. The Alvirita Little Award has been awarded ten times since its inception in 1988:
1989: Mother Hale of New York City for her work with drug addicted babies
1993: The Alcohol/Drug 24 Hour Helpline for its all-volunteer crisis, information and referral service to the residents of Western Washington
1997: Senator George McGovern for his advocacy on behalf of individuals and families affected by chemical dependency.
1999: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda for his contribution of over 50 years of professional and volunteer service to under-represented communities in Western Washington State, including 33 years as the Executive Director for the Atlantic Street Center.
2001: Elizabeth Thomas, ARNP, for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of children and families and her work with children as a pediatric nurse practitioner with the Odessa Brown Clinic and Children’s Hospital.
2002: Steve Pool of KOMO 4 for his advocacy and fundraising work to ensure that all children in the community have access to medical care, regardless of their financial situation.
2005: Patrick Gogerty, former Executive Director of Childhaven, for his tireless and passionate advocacy on behalf of abuse and neglected children.
2006: Alan Sugiyama, founder and Executive Director of the Center for Career Alternatives.
2007: Dr. Maxine Mimms, founder of the Maxine Mimms Academies, a leader in a "transformative model of education" designed for underperforming students.
2009: Patti Skelton-McGougan, Executive Director of Youth Eastside Services in Bellevue since 1997, for her work with at-risk, underserved youth.
2010: Phil Smart, Sr., for his many years of philanthropic and volunteer service in Puget Sound.
2011: Constance Rice, in recognition of her years of community service, her work at Casey Family Programs on behalf of youth in foster care, and her efforts on behalf of adolescents and those with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
2012: Dr. Carol Simmons, for her work in youth education and her tireless efforts advocating quality education for all children.
2013: Trish Millines Dziko, in recognition of her work as Co-Founder of the Technology Access Foundation and its focus of increased technological access at public schools – particularly those located in underserved communities of color.
2014: Mona Humphries Bailey, for her years of hard work and dedication at all levels of Washington State Public Schools and her constant focus on equality in education for students in Washington State and beyond.
"Alvirita provided some great leadership here in this community without an enormous amount of notice. She just went ahead and did things." -former Gov. Dan Evans.