President Obama presents the Award:
Maria Gomez. Born in Colombia and brought up in Washington, D.C., Maria Gomez has dedicated her life to providing high-quality health care to the community that raised her. Guided by her vision, Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care has delivered exceptional outcomes to disadvantaged populations for more than two decades. Her organization’s integrated approach to medicine, education and social services extends a lifeline to tens of thousands every year, giving families across the D.C. region a chance at a brighter future. The United States honors Maria Gomez for sharing her strength with the underserved.
Gomez founded, Mary’s Center 25 years ago with the mission to build better futures through the delivery of health care, family literacy and job training. Mary’s Center is part of the working group launching First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Read Let’s Move Campaign.” Prior to establishing Mary’s Center, Maria was a public health nurse with the D.C. Department of Health. She has also worked for the Red Cross, directing community education programming and disaster services, and with the Visiting Nurses Association. She currently serves as Regional Representative for the South East to the National Council of la Raza, and previously served two terms on the board of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington.