Caroline Kennedy, daughter of late President John F. Kennedy, presented the 2012 New Frontier Awards on Nov. 19 to Abrams at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston. Veronika Scott, a Michigan humanitarian project founder, also was recognized.
Abrams, 38, is minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. She is the first woman to lead either party in the General Assembly. Before her election in 2006, she served as Atlanta’s deputy city attorney.
Each year, the Kennedy Library Foundation, in collaboration with Harvard’s Institute of Politics, presents the New Frontier Awards to two outstanding young Americans whose public service exemplifies the spirit of President Kennedy.
Abrams represents House District 84, soon to be District 89. The district currently includes the communities of Candler Park, Columbia, Druid Hills, East Lake, Highland Park, Kelley Lake, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, Oakhurst, South DeKalb, Toney Valley and Tilson. Beginning in January, District 89 will add East Atlanta in DeKalb.
The New Frontier Awards committee cited Abrams’ work in saving a full-day pre-kindergarten program that was a target for cuts.
Kennedy said Abrams has looked for common ground wherever she can find it.
Scott’s project provides jobs for female shelter residents. They make coats for the homeless that transform into sleeping bags.
Scott, now 23, was a student at College for Creative Studies in Detroit when she launched her project by working on a class assignment to “Design to fill a need.”
The ninth annual New Frontier Awards honor those younger than 40 who become role models for a new generation of public servants by showing qualities of civic-mindedness, pragmatism, vision, and tenacity in finding and addressing public challenges.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, it’s inspiring that my father’s call to service is still being answered by people like the two young Americans we honor today,” Kennedy said.