Schenectady County

Malinda Myers, 93, will receive prestigious Rozendaal Award from YWCA

The YWCA NorthEastern NY will present its 2013 Katherine S. Rozendaal Award to Malinda Myers later t

The YWCA NorthEastern NY will be presenting its 2013 Katherine S. Rozendaal Award to Malinda Myers later this month.

“The YWCA is proud to continue the presentation of this prestigious award and invites the community to recognize the valuable contributions of Malinda Myers for over eight decades,” the organization said in a statement.

Myers, a resident of Schenectady, was nominated by Dr. Quintin Bullock, president of Schenectady County Community College.

She was one of five nominees. After the five applications were received, past recipients voted on this year’s winner. The award recognizes those in the Schenectady community who dedicate their time and effort into volunteering and helping others.

“It had to be someone who’s creative, certainly, [to] be recognized by their peers,” said Jo-Anne Voris Rafalik, YWCA Development Communications Director. “They had to work with a variety of people because Schenectady has always been multiple ethnic groups, so they [the past winners] always looked for that.

“Also someone who worked with diverse populations here in Schenectady and also someone who showed a commitment over the years, so it wasn’t someone that just went out one year and did all kinds of work. It was someone who showed that it was a history of their life.”

This year’s award winner won by helping her community in a different avenue. Myers, who turned 93 on Saturday, was known to her community as a “resource.”

“She is still not so much serving as a volunteer, but people still call her,” said Voris Rafalik. “She still serves on committees. She serves as more of a resource.”

Myers has played a strong role in Schenectady throughout her life. In 1959 she became the first female president of the Schenectady branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving from 1959-1964.

Myers also played an influential role in the creation of Schenectady Country Community College.

“It was wonderful to think that people still remember,” said Myers. “It’s certainly nice to be thought of. I’m a born giver. I don’t do things for what I can get out of it. I’m not made that way.”

Her influence on the community college was only one of many reasons why Bullock nominated her.

“She is very deserving,” he said. “Her history, her service has had a very positive impact throughout the entire county and city. She continues to serve in different capacities that continue to carry on legacies for her commitment to ensure continued success within the environment that she passionately, passionately loves.”

Myers was also the recipient of the 2008 Schenectady YWCA Unsung Hero Award due to her work with organizations in the Schenectady community, including the League of Women Voters and Emanuel Baptist Church.

Myers will be receiving her award at the YWCA NorthEastern NY’s 125th annual meeting on June 19 at 7:30 a.m.

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