Rossi recognized for “spirit of courage”

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Michelle Rossi has been recognized by the Orleans County Restorative Justice Center for her “spirit of courage.”

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She was presented with the award surrounded by family, friends and the Justice Center board on Wednesday evening at the Goodrich Library.

Rossi, a resident of Newport City, is involved with Girl Scouts, the ENCORE program at North Country Union Highschool, Newport City’s Promise Community, ReNewport, Big Brother/Big Sisters, and several other community-building initiatives.

Last summer, she stepped forward at a city council meeting, petitioning the city to address the presence of drug activity in her neighborhood.

Since then, she has worked persistently with others to lead a more vibrant and responsive neighborhood.

Her many admirers say they appreciate her unflagging energy and can-do perspective.

“I am inspired by her every day,” Colleen Moore-d’Ortiz, her neighbor, said. “To me, she sets an example through her actions of living with love in our neighborhood. Honestly, I never really felt like a real member of the community until we became friends. Being a part of Michelle’s community helps give me the strength to keep showing up.”

Her strength of character, community leadership, and courage to step out are primary reasons for selecting Rossi for this award.

She is the first recipient of the award, designed to be given occasionally at the recommendation of the Justice Center board of directors.

“There are so many community-driven people here that are making a difference and ushering positive change, but in a quiet, consistent and thoughtful way that supports justice and care,” said Barbara Morrow, Justice Center executive director. “The board really wants to recognize these local heroes.”

The recognition includes a small monetary gift and a hand-blown statue from Vermont artist Lada Bohac, of a giraffe.

“Michelle’s conviction to the belief that, by improving her skills she can make herself and her community better is the essence of good citizenship,” said Justice Center Board Chair, Steven Mason

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