The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2018 ATHENA® Awards. The awards recognize contributions made by individuals to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.
We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
So come back often and learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – June 5 – to attend the awards luncheon.
Meet This Week’s Athena Finalist:
Erie County Legislature, Majority Leader
Founder, The College Simulation Experience
April Baskin is the Erie County Legislature Majority Leader representing District 2 and is chairwoman of both the Public Safety and Minority & Women Enterprise committees. Taking office in January 2018, April is committed to addressing the systemic challenges many women, people of color, and impoverished communities experience in terms of the educational opportunities.
Prior to taking office, April developed The College Simulation Experience, an organization that uses arts-based experiential learning to increase college retention rates in low-income populations in Western New York. Last year, the organization hosted its first regional conference, serving 160 high school students from Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Syracuse and Rochester in creative college readiness.
First Job Out of School
A Buffalo native, April’s first job out of school was as an original member of Planned Parenthood’s Teen Reality Theatre.
As a member of the Erie County Legislature, April notes the importance of having a platform to create effective change through law and policy for those whose voice is often silenced. As founder of The College Simulation Experience, she uses creative learning methods to help underserved youth take full advantage of opportunities available to them to advance their education.
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
About Being an Athena Finalist
“Athena, being the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the daughter of Zeus, is both powerful in imagery and concept. To be nominated for an award named after such vigor is truly humbling. Knowing I’m associated ATHENA’S national prominence, I am tasked with being a leader and community servant in the same arena as ATHENA finalists of the past and future. It is an honor to be nominated.”
On Buffalo Niagara
“I lived away for ten years, thus I love living in the Buffalo Niagara region. I have so many reasons, from my grandma, parents and siblings (sometimes), to my church, the Olmstead parks, Frank Lloyd Wright shapes, 19th century architecture and Tim Horton’s.”
Guilty Pleasure: Dr. Pepper
Superpower: Disciplining Middle Schoolers
Personal Description: Somewhere in between the Wendy Williams Show and Law & Order
Most Likely To: Invite you to lunch
Best At: Building bridges, helping opposites attract for the greater good of unity