Monday, December 24, 2012

Beloved Annette wins BIG award!

Annette Young Smith from the Quesada Gardens
Community Mural by Deirdre DeFranceaux
Annette Young Smith lived on the 1700 block of Quesada Avenue when it was one of the roughest places in San Francisco. She and Karl Paige began to introduce neighbors to one another, plant flowers here and there around the block, and spread a message of hope.

Ms. Annette is being honored by the SF Neighborhood Empowerment Network. She will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at a City Hall event scheduled for Wednesday January 9th at 6pm.

Ms. Annette is well-known for co-founding Quesada Gardens Initiative with Karl Paige and other neighbors who were attracted to their work. For years, she and Karl, who passed away in 2007, were the daily caretakers of an increasingly beautiful and safe place. Her first flowers have grown into a network of projects that have shifted a community's focus from problems to possibilities. She remains QGI's Board of Directors' Chair and spiritual mentor.

Ms. Annette has lived in the Bayview over thirty years, seldom far from her mother, a brother and several sisters. She raised three children and many grandchildren in the neighborhood. When a fire took her previous Bayview home in 1997, she moved to the 1700 block of Quesada Avenue, across the street from her brother Woodrow Young. Since 2000, she has lived on Palou Avenue, just a few blocks from her beloved Quesada Garden.

Annette Young Smith's actions have served to ground residents to the place they live, break through the fears and prejudices that kept neighbors isolated from one another, and started a new narrative about a historically great neighborhood restoring itself.

Neighbors are invited to cheer as Annette Young Smith receives the NEN Lifetime Achievement Award Wednesday January 9th at 6pm in the Rotunda of City Hall. The event is free and fun.

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