A press release: February 5, 2018

ALBANY, NY – The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is pleased to announce that three outstanding women of achievement have been named as 2018 Trailblazers.

  • Hon. Dorcey Applyrs, DrPH, MPH, Albany First Ward Common Council Woman and Faculty Program Director for School of Health Sciences, Excelsior College;
  • Carmen Duncan, Chief Coach and Founder, Mission Accomplished Transition Services; and
  • Hon. Karen B. Johnson, Schenectady County Legislator and Planned Giving Manager for Proctors.

The three will be honored for their generosity, spirit and leadership in blazing trails to make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our community.

The awards will be presented at the tenth Trailblazers Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 9 at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia.

Honorary chair for the event is Gloria DeSole, 2014 Trailblazer and Retired Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Affirmative Action, University at Albany.

Applyrs is helping change the face of politics in Albany, giving women a louder voice and encouraging them to participate. As a councilwoman, she focuses on bringing families and communities together and dedicates her expertise in public health and advocacy to tackling health disparity and environmental safety issues affecting her constituents.

As founder of Mission Accomplished, Duncan is “a voice for those who do not have one, who have not found theirs, or who need someone to join them in raising challenging issues that improve our region.” She has been recognized by numerous Capital Region organizations for her leadership role and as a driving force who will help shape the future in a positive way.

Johnson has served in elective office for 32 years, though that was not a long-time ambition. Her dedication to the community and intelligent, calm and considered approach helped her make great strides in changing Schenectady for the better. She is known for living and leading as a role model for giving back to the community in which she lives.

People can find out how to register for this luncheon by visiting the Women’s Fund website: www.WomensFundCR.org .

Since 2006, the Women's Fund of the Capital Region has raised and given out over $459,000 in grants, scholarships and emergency funds - all with a focus on improving women’s lives in the Capital Region. Women often face discrimination, domestic violence, difficulty finding high quality child care and inadequate employment training. Initially the Women’s Fund supported projects that help overcome these obstacles.

In the fall of 2010, in a continued effort to achieve the greatest impact for women in our community, the Women's Fund committed to an education initiative, to help motivated but struggling women achieve their degree goals. Committed to career advancement through higher education, they still face obstacles to degree completion as they juggle home, work and school. The Women’s Fund is the single largest scholarship donor at both Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College. 60 women have received these scholarships.

A Schenectady County Community College scholarship recipient said at a previous Trailblazers Award Luncheon, “It takes courage to believe in a student you’ve never met, and that is exactly what scholarship donors do. They give people a chance. On behalf of myself and every student you have ever touched with your generosity, thank you for giving us a chance and helping to make our dreams take flight."

Proceeds from the awards luncheon will allow the Women’s Fund to expand these programs, helping a new generation of women become role models and trailblazers themselves.

The Women's Fund of the Capital Region is a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.