2023 Mentor Awards

The annual PLEN Mentor Awards honor leaders who have a proven commitment to training the next generation of public policy leaders. Each year, PLEN alumni, students, speakers, and supporters join us to support the amazing work of leaders who are making huge strides in the public policy arena while also helping those coming up the ladder behind them.

Reserve your ticket or become a sponsor!

Join us on May 24 in Washington, DC, to celebrate this year's award recipients and meet the young people attending the Global Policy seminar, May 22 - 26. Your support will go directly to expanding PLEN programming and funding scholarships to enable students to attend seminars. Reserve your ticket or learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

The event will be held at 700 Penn Ave. SE, 7th Floor, Washington, DC.

Host Committee (in Formation)

Caitlin Donahue | Erica Dahl | Amy Meli | Marti Estell
Shelby Olson (CareerLife Directions LLC) | Shae Harris
Ellie Shaw | Debbie Ricker

2023 honorees


Lisa D. T. Rice

Lisa has served the PLEN community for more than 15 years, through her Board service, as Interim Executive Director, and as a generous volunteer of her time and resources.


Chiquita Jackson

As a 2019 PLEN Women In Congress alum, Chiquita Jackson is on a mission to empower communities by providing affordable workforce development, entrepreneurial support, youth development, grassroots advocacy, and community empowerment events. In February 2020, Chiquita founded her social impact agency Chiquita Jackson Enterprise with the goal of dismantling poverty and increasing economic security for individuals in underserved communities. With her work at Chiquita Jackson Enterprise, she seeks to equip individuals from low-income backgrounds with the tools they need to build successful lives for themselves and their families. By providing resources as such, she believes that people can break the cycle of poverty and build better futures for themselves.

Community Award

Miryam Gerdine

A longtime PLEN supporter, Miryam has reviewed resumes, provided seminar space, and spoken on panels. Miryam is a Social Sciene Research Analyst at the Bureau of Health Workforce in the U.S. Health Resources and Services (HRSA). She has been a Project Officer, managing federal workforce grants and is currently the Program Co-Lead for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Training Professional Program.

Miryam earned her master’s in public health in 2007 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Summer of 2011, Miryam received a full scholarship to the Biostatistics Summer Institute, at Morgan State University.

Congressional Award

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-3)

One of two Native American women serving in Congress, Rep. Davids has brought the discipline and hard work attitude honed through years as an MMA fighter to Congress to advocate for leadership and mentorship opportunities for community college students, bipartisan immigration reform, and the important role of small businesses to local communities.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC-1)

The first female graduate of The Citadel, a small business owner, and single mom, Rep. Mace understands the importance of preparation and determination when advocating for her constituents. She is a defender of women's health and reproductive care, the enviroment, and veterans access to education and support.


Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

Role Model

VIEW: Past PLEN Mentor Award Honorees