By Katie McFadden
It’s an honor fit for a local hero who’s constantly finding ways to give back. On Sunday, March 5, Sergeant Lakia Echols of the U.S. Army and founder of Makemymotherproud, was presented with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to volunteer service.
Far Rockaway resident Echols is the founder and longtime leader of nonprofit Makemymotherproud, which empowers local at-risk youth in different ways and operates the annual Santa Sleigh Run. On Sunday, Echols, and a few other honorees who dedicate their life to volunteer service, were invited to a Fundraising Black Tie ceremony at the Occasions Banquet and Catering Hall on Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica, hosted by Egypts Bully Free World LLC, the UrbanMarks E&A Corporation and Diva Dynasty Magazine, to accept their awards.
At the ceremony, Echols was presented with The President’s Volunteer Service medal, the President’s Lifetime Achievement award for her “lifelong commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service,” and the Actor Danny Glover Power of Dream award for her “humanitarian service to the building back better of your community.”
Echols, who is frequently on deployments, flew 17 hours home from Kuwait to be at Sunday’s ceremony to accept the awards in person. “No matter how far I am, my heart always pumps heavily to always help where I can for my home,” Echols said.