Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Mayor Parker Presents 2014 Disability Advocate of the Year Awards

October 28, 2014 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker presented the 2014 Mayor's Disability Advocate of the Year Awards today before members of City Council and a community audience. The awards acknowledge citizens’ outstanding volunteer service toward improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The “Community Advocate Award” was presented to Chelsea Nguyen for her volunteer services consisting of cosmetics classes and event promotions benefiting people with visual impairments. A “Community Advocate Award” was also presented posthumously to John Joseph “Jay” Everhart III, accepted by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Everhart Jr., acknowledging his volunteer work as a mentor for youth with special needs at The Arc of Greater Houston. The “Youth Advocate Award” went to Tori Danielle Woodruff, a high school junior, in recognition of ten years of service assisting life skills students.

“The City of Houston is proud to acknowledge today’s honorees for their dedication and commitment to helping those who need encouragement and support. Through their caring and compassionate deeds, they set a fine example for all of us and challenge us to give of ourselves to help and empower citizens with disabilities.”

The award recipients were selected by a committee from a pool of nominations received from the public by open invitation. The annual awards presentation coincides with the celebration of Disability Awareness Month in October.

The Mayor's Disability Advocate of the Year Awards are administered by the Department of Neighborhoods Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in collaboration with the Houston Commission on Disabilities. For more information, call MOPD at 832-394-0811 or visit