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HopeWorx Staff and Board Member Honored for Service

Staff and Board Member Receive Awards

Congratulations to Clare Higgins, Kathy Laws, Gene Paliescheskey and Maria Maneos for receiving awards for outstanding service and support for members of the mental health recovery community! HopeWorx is proud of their work. Please read about their achievements below. 


  • Clare Higgins
    Clare Higgins

    In May, Clare Higgins, Program Director for the Family Satisfaction and Advocacy Teams at HopeWorx, received two separate honors which recognized for her work with families, youth, and young adults.

    The 2023 Maryella Hitt Advocacy Award from the National Alliance of Mental Illness was presented in recognition of Clare’s outstanding advocacy efforts of behalf of those who struggle with mental illness. Clare was recognized during the annual NAMI Montgomery County Membership dinner, where she was supported by several members of her team.

    Clare was also awarded the National Family Champion Award through SAMHSA and the NTTAC, which recognized one professional across the country who was using their lived experience to improve the mental health system through advocacy and support of other families. This award was presented during the 2023 Better Together National System of Care Conference. This was the first year that this award was bestowed, and Clare was honored and humbled to be recognized nationally for the work she and her teams are able to do in Montgomery County.

  • Kathy Laws
    Kathy Laws

    Kathy Laws, a member of the HopeWorx Board of Directors, won the Lifetime Peer Partner Award from the PA Peer Support Coalition. Kathy received the award during the Banquet Dinner at the 2023 Conference. PAPSC members thanked Kathy for her service saying, “You make what we do possible and we are here to support you.”

    This award was created to honor and recognize an individual who has significantly impacted peer services in Pennsylvania. Nominees do not necessarily have to be certified peer professionals, just someone who has contributed to the advancement of peer services in Pennsylvania.

    The Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition is a statewide network of people who use their own experiences with mental health and/or substance use to support others. All Coalition members are people who use peer support skills to inspire hope that recovery is possible.

  • Gene Palieschesky
    Gene Palieschesky

    Gene Paliescheskey, CommunityWorx Community Coordinator, received one of the 2023 Montgomery County Recovery and Resiliency Awards at the 2023 CSP Conference and Mental Health Awards Ceremony. Gene consistently goes above and beyond when addressing the needs of individuals in the community and at Hopeworx. He recently was instrumental in securing hundreds of toys for the HopeWorx toy drive over this past holiday season. He also assisted with the cleanup of an apartment for an individual he supported so that they would no longer be experiencing homelessness. He is always somehow able to pull together resources from the community and other providers on very short notice, and he does it all with a smile on his face. He helps folks with resources to help with food, clothes, and information. He is also never too busy to support his fellow co-workers. He is kind and thoughtful and is always helping or giving back in some way. He is very reliable, has knowledge on an abundance of resources, a nd above all else, is humbleand never gives up. He has and continues to make a difference in so many people’s lives. For these reasons, Gene received a Recovery and Resiliency Award.

  • Maria Maneos
    Maria Maneos

    Maria Maneos, a local artist from North Wales, won first place at the Art of the State show for her powerful and moving sculpture called “Under the Microscope.”

    “Under the Microscope” made its debut at the opening of the 2023 Art of the State opening on September 10th. The event was held at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

    “Under the Microscope” is a three-sided booth containing a written compilation of text, drawings, and research taken from a personal journal written over many years of loving and caring for someone living with mental health and substance use disorders. Viewers enter the booth and experience a powerful and personal story of love, devotion and heartbreak.

    “It took years to realize and make, and I am so glad it  is being embraced and appreciated,” Maneo said.

    Maneos runs a community service arts program called “Brush with the Law” and uses the visual arts in community based beautification projects throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Projects are led by professional artists who create together with college students, people assigned community service hours, advocates and members of the behavioral health community, and volunteers from the neighborhoods where their public art is created.

    Maneos also serves as resident artist at CommunityWorx, the community center at HopeWorx. CommunityWorx has enabled Maneos to work directly and closely with people experiencing rough times who could use kindness, empathy and genuine connections.

    CommunityWorx, and its diversity and inclusivity, allows Maneos to connect and advocate for people in whatever stage of recovery they may be. CommunityWorx is her salvation and safe place where she finds community built every day and friendship and resources freely shared. To learn more about Maneos, click here.

    The exhibit will be on display until January 7, 2024. 
    The museum also has virtual talks that people can sign up for and hear and see some of the works on display and in their collection. Maneos is part of the permanent collection of the  State Museum of PA for her last sculpture 5535-2017. In 2018, it received First Place in sculpture and also received the Purchase Prize Award.

Thank You For Making A Difference!