Brenda Brown Williams was lauded for her efforts to teach diversity in the workplace and implement workforce development programs in southeastern Pennsylvania.

" 'Miss Brenda,' as her students call her, is an outstanding individual," said nominator John Wodhouse, agricultural business educator with Penn State Extension in Chester County. "Her dedication toward fostering an open environment for learning -- regardless of the students' age, ethnicity, family background or education -- coupled with her ability to connect with at-risk students is, in my opinion, the most impressive of the gifts Brenda gives.

"With an intrinsic commitment and dedication to multicultural advocacy, Brenda has the ability to altruistically improve the lives of those around her."

Brown Williams' programs with the youth centers in Chester and Montgomery counties began more than a decade ago. Her workforce development programs reach youth of all colors, education and cultural backgrounds. Understanding cultural and socioeconomic variances is important to Brown Williams, so she constantly improves her content to better connect with the wide-ranging groups of students.

She educates more than 400 students yearly though programs at Chester County Futures, the Chester County Youth Center, and the Montgomery County Youth Center. Through life-skill-building activities, workforce development courses, and other alternative youth programming, she helps prepare students of various ages, upbringing and ethnicities to become upstanding and accepted young citizens in the community.