The Fred and Nancy DeMatteis Award is presented to an individual whose work and personal efforts reflect the spirit and legacy of the DeMatteis Family, creating a better world for those less fortunate and in need of support.
John Samuelsen International President of the Transport Workers Union
TWU International President John Samuelsen represents over 150,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities, and services sectors. Samuelsen was sworn in as TWU’s 10th International President on May 1, 2017. He is also the former President of TWU Local 100 in New York City—the union’s largest local. A Brooklyn native, Samuelsen was hired by the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) in 1993 and was assigned to a track gang in Brooklyn, where he and his fellow union members worked under difficult and unsafe conditions. Managers ignored safety regulations, disciplined workers who spoke up, and had no respect for the workers or their union. While still in his probationary period, Samuelsen’s co-workers elected him shop steward, and he fought vigorously for a safer subway workplace.
From 2001 to 2006, Samuelsen served as chair of the Track Safety Committee and chair of the Track Division. From 2002–2005 he was Acting Vice President of the Maintenance of Way Department, representing 7,100 workers providing essential services to NYCTA in Track, Line Equipment and Signals, Power and Structure. During that time, he also served as lead negotiator for all safety-related issues during contract bargaining between Local 100 and NYCTA, and authored the Comprehensive Track Safety Bill passed by the New York State Legislature.
He was elected President of Local 100 in December 2009 and was reelected overwhelmingly in 2012 and 2015. He served as Local 100 president until September 26, 2017.
He still maintains an active public role in New York politics and advocates on behalf of all TWU members. During Samuelsen’s time as President, the TWU has been focused on new worker organizing and grown the union by 15,000 members in over 20 successful organizing drives. The TWU is currently leading the charge in fighting against offshoring the maintenance of U.S. passenger aircraft to foreign countries and defending jobs against displacement through automation in the transit industry.
The 2019 Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award is presented to a person(s) who embodies the spirit and work of the HSVS Junior Board and serves as an ambassador of change for our City's most vulnerable children, families and individuals.
Ariane Rinehart Actor
Ariane is an actor, singer, and dancer, based out of Brooklyn. She grew up performing with professional theaters in St. Louis, MO, and since living in NYC, has appeared in numerous film and television projects, including Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, Quantico, and has recurred on NBC's Chicago Fire.
Ariane is proudest to have played the role of Liesl von Trapp in NBC's first live television musical event, The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood, which aired to over 18 million viewers across America.
She holds a B.A. with honors in sociology from Barnard College. .
The 2019 Youth of the Year Award
The Youth of the Year Award is presented to a youth for outstanding achievements and for exemplifying the values and principles of HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services.
Gabbie Rodriguez HSVS American Dream Program Scholar
Gabbie is an extremely driven student, a passionate advocate and an aspiring teacher. At 22, she is a senior at The City College of New York studying Early Childhood Education. Gabbie currently works with eighth graders, providing support in algebra classrooms with an organization that aims to minimize the achievement gap. She hopes to become a Pre-K teacher and, eventually, a principal.
As an advocate, she has spoken at rallies for the Fair Futures campaign and organized programs for youth in care in college. Gabbie is the oldest of three and strives to be a role model for her younger siblings, demonstrating that they can achieve anything no matter the circumstances.
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