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Healthy Respect News


Dr. Nanci Coppola was named "Woman of the Year" for her pioneering work in sex education by County Executive Robert Astorino. The award was sponsored by the Women's Equality Day Reformed Committee, which hosted its 10th annual "Women of Vision, Women of Reality" luncheon at the Westchester County Board of Legislators Michaelian building.


Yonkers Mayor Philip A. Amicone joined Mr. Astorino in honoring Coppola who was cited for her extraordinary impact among Westchester youth regarding drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence and sex and other risky behaviors. Through her work with Program Reach and Healthy Respect, she has reached over 10,000 students, illustrating the power and delicacy of the human procreative faculties while fostering abstinence in preparation for marriage. In March of this year, an independent team of evaluators published their findings regarding the program's positive impact on teens in the Journal of Children and Poverty, and a second peer-reviewed article is soon to be published. She has been invited to establish the program in Canada (New Brunswick), Trinidad and Cameroon in the very near future.



The Women's Equality Day Reformed Committee is co-chaired by Judith Anderson, Susan Konig, and Regina Riely and was founded on the principles of feminism, equality, and the protection of human life. Past recipients include Mildred Fay Jefferson, M.D., Christine Matorell-Plazas, Theresa Bonapartis, and Catherine T. Hickey, Ph.D.. Carol Crossed gave the keynote address on the work of Susan B. Anthony, the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and the importance of the work of the suffragettes in promoting the rights of the unborn.


"I accept this honor on behalf of the children that I am privileged to serve ... to once again draw attention to their needs." Coppola acknowledged that receiving this honor would spur her on to greater efforts in the journey to help all youth. (Nearly 50% of teens are sexually active in Westchester County; half of sexually active teens contract at least one sexually transmitted infection.) In closing she asked all present to be companions on that journey reminding them that "service is the rent that we pay for the privilege of living on this earth".