Carson City’s Shelly Aldean has been awarded one of this year’s Governor’s Points of Light Awards.
Aldean won the award for her work with the Capital City C.I.R.C.L.E.S initiative.
C.I.R.C.L.E.S., she said, is a program that works to “elevate people out of generational poverty.”
She said it’s a long-term program that tries to examine why people are unable to raise themselves out of poverty and teaches such things as goal setting and financial literacy. Participants take a class called Getting Ahead that helps them identify and break down the barriers that keep them in poverty. It concludes with a formal graduation ceremony in the Ormsby Room at the Sheriff’s office.
“My receipt of this award was more of a tribute to the tireless efforts of the CCCI board and it’s staff than to me as an individual,” Aldean said.
The organization was also named the Northern Nevada Development Authority’s 2015 Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year.
The program was actually started by Carson City, which received a $50,000 grant for it in 2006. She said she was recruited to guide the group and raise some money in addition to what the city was doing. But then the grant was canceled.
“We stepped in and took over the program,” she said. “We fund everything now.”
The city, however, still provides the program with office space at Northgate Center.
She said the program has become successful enough it now has a training center in town and people come in from other states to learn how to start the program in their hometown.
She received the award at the annual ceremony in Las Vegas in September. The only problem, she said, was getting the award on the airplane because the award has a point on its top.
“It was deemed to be a potentially hazardous object as I was going through the TSA in Las Vegas,” she said.
After searching her bag and examining the award, she was allowed to bring it home.
“It was a suitable ending,” she said.
The Nevada Governor’s Points of Light Awards were created in 2001 based on President George H. W. Bush’s inaugural address invoking a vision of “a thousand points of light.” It celebrates the volunteer efforts of Nevadans in seven annual categories.
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