Associate Brigid Kennedy was awarded the 1st Annual Ohio Department of Health Pioneer Award for her leadership, passion and dedication to HIV community planning.  According to ODH, Brigid demonstrates “a commitment to the ideals of community planning and the execution of those ideals in an innovative and forward thinking manner.”

Brigid was also honored recently as one of the Mahoning Valley Professional’s 40 Under 40 for her professional accomplishments and community service.  Brigid was also singled out as one of five MVPs the night of the event.  Here is her acceptance speech:

“I first want to thank my co-honorees here tonight as well as all of the past and future 40 under 40 honorees for making this Valley a better place to live.  Some of us consciously chose to return to our hometowns and others couldn’t imagine ever leaving, but whichever the path, our future is brighter because of you.

And I need to thank some important people, some of whom are with me tonight, who are the reason I am here before you.  One thing people who know me well can tell you is that my work and my family are the most important things in my life, and that often there’s not much distinction between the two: my family gets co-opted for the cause and those with whom I minister become my family; and then rinse and repeat.  My family of birth, my family of choice, my children, the Ursuline Sisters and Associates, our HIV/AIDS Ministry, Children’s Services, Catholic Charities, my parish, my friends, . . . they all overlap and interconnect to lift me up and keep me going, and I am grateful for all of them.

St. John of the Cross said “In the evening of life we will be judged by Love.” There are many labors of love going on in the lives of tonight’s honorees.  We are all under 40 (though speaking for myself, some of us barely,), so the evening of life is hopefully at some distance, but we can say that we are getting it done now.  And I am proud to be counted among you.  Thank you.”

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