The Alliance for Health Equity Awards $5,000 At It’s Second Let’s Talk Allyship: Community-Designed Solutions Series

On April 13, 2023

On March 23, 2023 The Alliance for Health Equity awarded $5,000 to local, community-based organizations, individuals, and educators who presented ideas and solutions to pressing needs related to health, well-being, education, employment, housing, and economic redevelopment. During the second Let’s Talk Allyship: Community-Designed Solutions series, six (6) individuals had five minutes to present their proposed solution to over forty (40) attendees and five (5) panelists at the Brandywine Center in Coatesville.

All presentations included: (1) an overview of the idea/solution; (2) the importance of the idea/solution; (3) a gap analysis; (4) financials; (5) team profiles; and (6) a timeline. Prior consultation and feedback from a skilled professional was available to each Presenter to assist them with delivering their proposal.

Panelists for the second Let’s Talk Allyship series included: Gwen Dickinson (Board and Grantmaking Committee member at The Alliance); Rachel Cathell (Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce); Rev. Dr. Linwood Smith (Community Advocate); Kelly Cockshaw (United Way of Chester County); and Valerie Martin (Board Chair of The Alliance). After each presentation, the panelists provided constructive feedback and an opportunity to answer questions from the Presenters. They also awarded the $2,500 prize for the best community-created solution.

The first place award was given to Janis Bady, the Program Manager for Young Men and Women in Charge (YMWIC). Janis answered the challenge question on Education- What is your idea(s) to give Greater Coatesville students the support they need to graduate? Her proposed solution is to enhance YMWIC’s current project support model to more than 300 students over the next three years. Additionally the proposed plan is to improve young men and women’s chances of graduating from college with a particular aim to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Attendees of the event voted for one (1) $1,000 award and three (3) $500 awards for the remaining proposed solutions. Awardees included:

  • 2nd Place ($1,000), Amanda Winkey: She focused on Health, Education, Employment, and Economic Development by creating a Youth Clean-up Squad as a therapeutic exercise for the body and mind to support trash eliminating efforts in Coatesville.
  • 3rd Place ($500), Ragha Mohan: Her focus was on Health by creating a Buddy System in Coatesville Area High School. This would match students with a buddy to support each other mentally and scholastically through their high school experience.
  • 3rd Place ($500), Steve Wilson. His focus was on education to establish a Coatesville-based

Educational Equity Task Force composed of community organization representatives, CASD representatives, and a Diversity/Equity/Inclusion consultant.

  • 3rd Place ($500), Patty Hillkirk: Her focus on Health and Wellbeing was a proposal to provide a free, therapeutic, and educational camp session to HIV/AIDS impacted youth.

The next Let’s Talk session will take place April 20, 2023 from 4:30p – 6:30p at The Brandywine Center in Coatesville. We encourage you to join the conversation and vote for ideas by signing up here. Presentation opportunities are still available until June! Submit an overview of an idea/solution related to Coatesville’s pressing needs of health, well-being, education, employment, housing, and economic redevelopment. Use this link: for your submission. You can learn more about the Let’s Talk Allyship series from April- June by watching session one and two presenter videos, and by visiting The Alliance’s website: and to read more about partnership opportunities.