BALTIMORE (October 10, 2018) – Jasmin Marie Duckett of Baltimore has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit organization for people 50 and older, to receive the 2017 AARP Maryland Andrus Award for Community Service—the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service. AARP Maryland selected Duckett for her remarkable service, including her tireless work on a series of improvements that together help to make her West Baltimore neighborhood a safer and more comfortable place to live— especially for older adults
“Jasmin Duckett exemplifies the adage that great acts result from small deeds,” said Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland state director. “AARP’s founder and the namesake of today’s award, Ethel Percy Andrus, asked ‘What are the things that we can do in our immediate environment to make it a neighborhood?’ There, she said, you will see a job to be done.”
“Jasmin’s accomplishments show us that we can all work together for positive social change,” said AARP State President Clarence “Tiger” Davis. “AARP has long championed the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”
Every year AARP offices across the country and in the U.S. territories choose an Andrus Award winner based on their accomplishments and commitment to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in (or for which) the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.
ABOUT JASMIN DUCKETT
Jasmin Duckett does not overlook a challenge. Noticing that traffic and trash along her city street were making it difficult for seniors to get out and around, she stepped into action. Persistent against bureaucratic red tape, she lobbied the City of Baltimore to install a red light in front of her local church, so that residents can cross the street safely. She secured park benches along the block, so that all residents, young and old, are able to wait comfortably for the bus, or just enjoy the open air on a nice day. For protection against the rain and cold, Duckett advocated until the city repaired the bus shelter at the Park Circle intersection. Under her continued vigilance, the Department of Public Works is doing more to maintain and clean vacant properties, repair broken sidewalks, cut curbs for handicap accessibility, and place more public trash cans along the street.
As neighbors have seen Duckett personally picking up trash and debris with her own tools and supplies, they have been inspired to join in, says Michael Wilkins, who nominated her for the award. “Together, they are following the nominee's example and are helping to improve the neighborhood by keeping the area around their homes cleaned and beautified in this inner city block of Baltimore City.”
In addition to her work promoting senior safety, Duckett volunteers by collecting books and magazines for the Zeta Senior Center Library. She is retired after a career in public service and academia, and is currently pastor of Sweet Spirit Christian Church.