SBVC Foundation Board Member Lois Carson Honored by Catholic Charities

Lois CarsonLongtime Inland Empire resident and retired CAP Executive Director, Lois Carson was selected as a recipient of the 2011 Catholic Charities’ Providing Help, Creating Hope Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and innovation in developing and providing programs that assisted families to exit poverty and build self-sufficiency.

Lois Carson was among four honorees who were presented awards at Catholic Charities’ 21st annual benefit gala, Evening of Hope, being held at the historic Victoria Club in Riverside on Nov 5th. The other 2011 honorees included Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela, M.D, Physician and Philanthropist; Robert Goffney, community volunteer and Christy Porter, founder and executive director of Hidden Harvest. 

“The longevity in service to the underserved that Lois Carson has demonstrated is an astonishing accomplishment.  She is a rare example of an individual who has chosen to make a lasting impact in this community,” said Ken Sawa, CEO and Executive Vice President of Catholic Charities.  “Her willingness to provide families with the support and materials they need to succeed truly exemplifies the spirit of the Providing Help, Creating Hope Award.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Lois Carson, “It is my hope that this honor will help bring attention to the need for greater awareness of the needs in our two county area.”

Under Carson’s leadership CAP Riverside was the first public Community Action agency to win the Award for Excellence in 2005 and the only agency, public or private in the state to win the coveted award.  Carson led her agency to face the challenge of assisting families in exiting poverty with dignity and true self sufficiency through asset-building strategies which enabled these families to enter the middle class: saving to realize home ownership, business and higher education.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Lois was valedictorian of her senior class at St. Augustine Catholic High School and won several scholarships; including the United Negro College Fund. She attended Wilberforce University, the oldest historically black higher education institution in America.  Later, after having six children, she resumed her education at San Bernardino Valley College and California State University where she received her baccalaureate degree in English and later received two Masters degrees (English and Education) at the University of California, Riverside.  She is in the Alumni Hall of Fame at SBVC, and is a “Distinguished Alumnus” at both CSUSB and UCR.

Carson is an avid volunteer and believes that organized effort by truly committed believers achieves the greatest result.  She is an active member of the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation Board.