RCC Chooses Three Who Embody MLK's Ideals
Driscoll McKee, Sescoe and Lilienthal to be honored at Jan. 16 ceremony.
Reston Association president Kathleen Driscoll McKee and community volunteers Gillian Sescoe and Lynn Lilienthal are the 2011 recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Community Service Awards, the Reston Community Center announced on Wednesday.
The awards will be presented on Monday, Jan. 16, in a ceremony at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods as part of the Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. To see the schedule of MLK Day events, click here.
“Each of this year’s Community Service Award winners embodies the ideals of service, tolerance and respect for all people that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “Their contributions make our community better for all and show the powerful impact of individuals who are committed to making a difference.”
Award winners exemplify the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. by making meaningful contributions to the Reston community through leadership, service, and education. Winners are chosen based on contributions to the community in support of tolerance and equal opportunities, efforts that reduce poverty, and promotion of non-violence and conflict resolution.
More about the winners and the committee's reasons for choosing them:
Citizenship Class Volunteer, Cedar Ridge Community Center
Gillian Sescoe is a retired federal government employee who volunteers to help clients of Reston Interfaith learn English and prepare for the naturalization test to become American citizens. She works with individuals from around the world who are new to the area and seeking to learn English and become American citizens so that they can gain employment, fully participate in their communities, and better the lives of their families.
Sescoe’s recent efforts began when she launched a citizenship class at Cedar Ridge Community Center in March 2010. The class has become a close group of students who support each other and rely on Sescoe for not only English and citizenship instruction, but as a friend and mentor who will gladly assist them in any way she can. To date, 12 of her students have passed the naturalization exam and others are making significant progress. Whenever a student passes the exam, the class and their friends and families celebrate with a meal including specialties from each of the students’ cultures and an American-style cake.
Sescoe’s service embodies Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s priority of serving others, as she helps these members of her community gain the skills and confidence they need to pass the naturalization exam and enjoy all of the benefits of becoming American citizens. With her assistance, these students are able to improve their lives and also help their friends and families, strengthening community ties for all.
Kathleen Driscoll McKee
President, Reston Association Board of Directors
Kathleen Driscoll McKee is President of the Reston Association Board, and has served the Reston community formally and informally through various civic organizations for more than 35 years. She has served and worked in leadership roles with community and civic organizations and efforts such as the Reston Historic Trust, the Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston Community Center, and the Reston Children’s Center, and has participated in the Reston Founder’s Day Celebration, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s High School Ethics Day, the Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent’s Community Advisory Committee, the Plant Clinic at the Reston Farmers Market, St. Thomas à Becket Parish, the Reston Swim Team Association, the Reston Transportation Advisory Council, and student exchange programs at South Lakes High School.
In each of her roles and activities, Driscoll McKee has worked to reach out to and include all Restonians and foster a sense of community. She has worked to improve life in Reston for all and her work reflects her strong philosophy of valuing all community members.
By bringing all parts of the community together for the greater good, she consistently honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideals of tolerance, equity and the promotion of peace.
Volunteer, Various Organizations in Reston and Around the World
Lynn Lilienthal has lived a life of service both here in Reston and around the world since the late 1960s. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer, worked as a preschool teacher, started a child care referral service, helped establish an early learning center, served on the Board of Reston Interfaith and supported the Embry Rucker Community Shelter and the Laurel Learning Center, served on the Board of Greater Reston Arts Center, served on the Citizens Committee for Cameron Glen Care Center, volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, worked with her husband to start Global Camps Africa, and contributed to her local and global communities in countless ways.
Lilienthal’s service has improved life for youth and the disabled, educated and provided nurturing care for children, created opportunities for those in need, promoted artwork in the community, provided caregiving and support for those in need of rehabilitation or 24-hour care, preserved and polished Reston’s history to share with residents and visitors, and fostered tolerance and acceptance of all people.
Lilienthal’s service reflects Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to helping those in need and valuing all people. She has improved circumstances for many both here in the Reston community and around the world, and continues to do so as a way of life, constantly finding ways to reach out and help others wherever a need exists.