School Social Worker of the Year - 2023
“SERVICE” is the value from which all other social work values stem. As an avid school social worker, Antoinette regularly elevates the needs of her families, students, and communities above her personal interest and uses her skills and knowledge to enhance the well beings of others. She’s a true believer in teamwork and seeks feedback and input from colleagues, promoting collaboration and effective communication within the department. In the 32 years rendered to Broward County Public Schools, Antoinette has continued to promote the school social work profession through her work in diverse and varied settings. She has worked with the Performance Improvement Program, served as a Teen Parent social worker, and served in every region (North, South, and Central) of the county. She supported the professional development of fellow school social workers through her role as coach to new employees. She enhanced her professional growth as a recipient of the Broward County Recognition Program (BCRP) in 2017 and has since served as a trained scorer of submitted portfolios, as well as a mentor to colleagues in their attempt to become a BCRP recipient. Antoinette is currently the team leader for the SPARKS program that provides interventions to assist students with excessive absences, behavioral issues, and social/emotional concerns. She has served as Team Leader for the past 6 years and has been a BCSSWA member since its inception. No matter her role, Antoinette demonstrates commitment and compassion and displays a spirit of passion, purpose, perseverance and promise for all present and future stakeholders. Antoinette continues to be an asset to the profession of social work and executes services with optimism and empathy while empowering others to be the best they can be.
Organizational Affiliations/Professional Associations:
Antoinette holds membership in the Broward chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and takes pride in participating in the annual NAMI walk with the student service department. She is also a BTU member and assists and participate in their voter registration drives. She is affiliated with the American Cancer Society and participates in their fundraisers and activities. She is a member of Mt. Bethel Baptist Church and serves on the volunteer and hospitality ministry. She is also a facilitator for the Educator’s Life Group that provides community resources for members dealing with mental health issues, family concerns, etc. Antoinette has helped coordinate community events that are relative to Health and Wellness, Celebration of Diversity and has assisted in several Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders (MTL) induction ceremonies. She also participates in Broward County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s 5k Walk/Run for Health.
Outstanding Work/Direct Service to Clients:
In October of 2018 at the FASSW conference in Tampa, Florida, Antoinette presented to colleagues, THE SPARKS PRORAM: A New, Innovative Approach to Student Wrap Around Services. She also collaborated with school staff and initiated the SPARKS Reading program for the PreK and Head start program at LME. Antionette felt that fathers reading to children would be important to the educational process, and as a result she added the Real Men Read component to the program. Antoinette trained the SPARKS team on how to utilize assessment tools such as WHY TRY and GCSORED that provide students with strategies related to social/emotional awareness, increase self-esteem, and encourages positive behavior in students. She also helped to facilitate the process that ensured these trainings were placed on the canvas platform. Every year, Antoinette volunteers at several district harvest drives, assists with food pantries, participates in the Salvation Army mall wish list program, and provides uniforms and shoes for students in need. Antoinette also serves as the itinerant social worker at Sea Castle Elementary School and works to improve attendance concerns, assist staff with providing interventions for students with behavior concerns and supports families as she uses best practices to meet the overall needs of the families she serves. In addition, she personally mentors at least two students per quarter and creates her own reward systems to encourage improvement in daily attendance and grades of her mentees.
Significant Contributions/Service to Community:
Antoinette is not only an asset to our department but to the community as well. She facilitates and conducts presentations for O.K.A.Y. Institute, Inc., a non-profit corporation that provides mentoring and empowering programs for students ages 11-18. At her local church, she volunteers her time passing out food items from the food pantry and offers support to families who are grieving the loss of loved ones by connecting them to community resources, providing meals, and giving emotional support. Antoinette also collaborates with Mt. Bethel Human Services Corporation in its annual community events including Fall Festival, Easter Egg Extravaganza, and the Back-to-School Drive.
Antionette has been the SPARKS Program Team Leader for the past 6 years, spearheaded and implemented the SPARKS Reading Program at LME, and served as coordinator for the Back-to-School Community Extravaganza at Dillard 6-12. She provides training on Assessment Tools for social workers in the SPARKS program, is a newsletter committee member, and a member of the departments entertainment committee that provides fun entertainment to staff and colleagues that assists in boosting morale and camaraderie among the department. Antoinette owns the stage when she speaks to staff during our monthly staff meetings, where she embraces every opportunity to recognize the great work and achievements of fellow school social workers. She has been a PLC leader for the past 5 years and serves as the Harvest Drive Team Leader at various sites. Antoinette also provided supervision as Harvest Drive LEAD social worker at Glades Middle School during the years assigned there. Antoinette is known to lead with passion and fun energy, which lends itself to encouraging and motivating others.
School Social Work Intern of the Year - 2023
Angemie Oldine Mathieu was born in Haiti and immigrated to the United States when she was ten years old; living in Broward County ever since. She grew up in a family of seven and is the second child of five siblings. She has a daughter who is three years old, and she loves her more than anything in this world. She is a first-generation student; completing part of her undergraduate education at Broward College and obtained an associate of arts degree. She then transferred to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and completed her bachelor's degree in social work with a minor in criminal justice and a child welfare certificate. In spring 2022, she received the undergraduate Scholar of the Year award from the Sandler School of Social Work. She is currently registered as a graduate student at FAU, pursuing her master's degree in social work. After graduation, she aspires to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in working with school-based adolescents. As an undergrad student, she had the pleasure of interning with 4Kids of South Florida as a foster care support worker. As an intern, she conducted assessments and case management to support distressed families. In addition, as an undergrad student, she took notes for students with disabilities, tutored students in various courses, and mentored students who needed someone in their corner. Additionally, she was a member of an organization called Sista's in Social Work, where she served as president for one year.
As a graduate student, she is interning with Collaborative Internship for All at Broward County Public School. As a school social work intern, she provide counseling services to students K-12. These services can include addressing the psychosocial needs of school-aged children, special education students, and their families, connecting them with outside services as needed, co-facilitating group sessions with children with emotional or behavioral challenges, etc. She served as a graduate student assistant at FAU and is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Broward County School Social Workers Association (BCSSWA), and Mental Health Awareness Committee (MHA).
In her own words, "being a social work student has been a fantastic experience for me. I am so grateful and honored to receive the Broward County School Social Workers Association (BCSSWA) Intern of the Year award and the National Association of Social Workers Student of the Year Award from NASW 2022-2023 academic year. I decided to major in social work because it is an essential way to help and support the people who need it most. My journey as a student will soon end, but my journey as a social worker is just getting started."
Person of the Year - 2023
Dr. Bita Sabripour, OD
See Your Future, Inc.
Dr. Sabripour graduated from Michigan College of Optometry and started her private practice (Clear Vision Center of South Florida) in 2007 in Plantation, Florida. She is a professor and adjunct faculty at Nova Southeastern University. She teaches in the undergraduate biology department and has interns and students rotate through her clinic. The interns and students are always intrigued with the work they do through their nonprofit organization.
She and her sons started this nonprofit organization to help the underprivileged students at their middle and high schools in 2018. Since then they have collectively been working through the nonprofit organization called See Your Future Inc. to help as many students as possible with their eye care needs. To date, they have served hundreds of students and their family members! The purpose is to help the students see better, to do better academically, and athletically, so that they can achieve the scholarships needed to go to college. Both of her sons played competitive soccer since the age of five and have been valuable captains and team members for their clubs and school soccer teams (South Plantation High). They also play piano competitively and have achieved the highest, scholastic grades, and academic scholarships possible. Her oldest son, Bayan, is now attending University of Florida as a freshman with a full academic scholarship. He was awarded the Broward County Athletic Association Scholarship of Merit. Her youngest son, Jian, is a junior at South Plantation High School and currently holds the highest PSAT and SAT score for the entire school and is a candidate for the national merit scholarship and award.
Dr. Sabripour would like to recognize the good fortune her sons have had by going through the Broward County Public School system and their success as a family. Broward County Schools have provide an excellent opportunity for a very good education. She values the work of Broward County Schools especially teachers and social workers do for our students. The work that the social workers are doing is a testimony that the school system wants students to succeed. It is with great pleasure that she serves the students and athletes along side, the teachers and social workers. As a professional she states, "I can say that my sons may not have achieved their academic and athletic goals if they did not have healthy eyes and proper vision".
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