Nine Louisianians to receive grants for work on behalf of children

(Baton Rouge, LA) — This October, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation will present The Angel Award® to nine everyday Louisianians doing extraordinary good for the state’s children.

The honorees were chosen from nearly 200 nominees submitted across Louisiana. Each Angel will receive a $25,000 grant to the nonprofit organization of their choice to deepen the impact of their work.

Now in its 25th year, The Angel Award® is notable for focusing on people who do hands-on work, says Foundation president Michael Tipton.

“We honor these men and women for leading from the front lines, and building movements of others to join in making lasting, powerful change for our state’s future through its children,” he said.

The stories of each Angel will be told at an invitation-only presentation ceremony to be held Monday, Oct. 14 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Receiving The Angel Award® this year are:

  • Pamela Allen of Ruston, the executive director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, a nationally recognized leader and advocate for creating opportunity-rich futures for blind children in Louisiana.
  • Destiny Adams Cooper of Baton Rouge, one of the founders of the Humanities Amped program, which empowers students to become critical readers, writers and thinkers by addressing real-world issues through the humanities.
  • O’Neil Curtis of Baton Rouge, a barber and entrepreneur in Baton Rouge who co-created Line4Line, which has brought reading and mentorship to thousands of young men.
  • Yolanda Green of Shreveport, a registered nurse who works in the school-based health center at Linwood Public Charter School, where she is known for her innovative approaches to improving the health and quality of life for students.
  • Melissa Juneau of Baton Rouge, a speech-language pathologist and the recently retired CEO of The Emerge Center for Communication, Behavior and Development, which saw dramatic growth in its services for children with special needs under her leadership.
  • K.C. Kilpatrick of Shreveport, a foster parent and founder of Geaux 4 Kids, Inc., a nonprofit that provides Geaux Bags of necessary items for a child’s first night in foster care, allowing children and families to begin journeys of healing at a moment’s notice.
  • Sarah Omojola of New Orleans, the director of The Welcoming Project, supports young people who have been involved with the criminal justice system by filling gaps, providing solutions and teaching skills to get them back on the path to achievement.
  • Anna Palmer of New Orleans, a foster parent and the founder of Crossroads NOLA, which helps recruit and train foster families, and also leads training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention to bring hope and healing to children in foster care.

Each year, the Foundation also honors a “Blue Angel,” an employee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana who has shown extraordinary commitment to children. This year, the Foundation has selected Deirdre Barfield, M.D. of Shreveport – a longtime volunteer at the Martin Luther King Health Center and Pharmacy, where she provides high quality family medicine services for people who cannot afford to pay for healthcare. Dr. Barfield also mentors students from area colleges who aspire to healthcare careers.

More information about the Angel Award is available online at

About the Blue Cross Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Together, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invest $2.5 million each year into Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits.

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