Her husband calls her “The Mayor.” Her neighbors know her by her signature hugs and her trademark “smooches.” If you live in Kensington, chances are you have met Gloria Cartagena, who is President of the Somerset Neighbors for Better Living, block leader, and a Kensington resident for 25 years. When she heard the news that she was one of six recipients for the 2018 NeighborWorks America Dorothy Richardson Resident Leadership Award, Gloria was shocked.
“I never expected to win. I was so emotional because I do this work for my community, not for the awards,” she said.
Each year, the award honors leaders from around the country for their outstanding contributions to their communities. As part of the NeighborWorks America network, NKCDC had the opportunity to nominate Gloria for her work organizing and amplifying the voices of her neighbors in the face of the surging opioid crisis and increased homelessness in Kensington. With her optimism and unfaltering ability to see a positive future for Kensington, Gloria has worked innovatively to recruit even her most hard-to-reach neighbors.
“NKCDC is incredibly grateful to be working side by side in the Kensington neighborhood with Gloria, as we see the impact she’s had on our staff and the neighborhood each day,” said Tess Donie, NKCDC’s former Associate Director of Community Engagement.
Congratulations Gloria! We are so excited to honor you and the work you do every day.