Award recognizes community leaders in neighborhoods within the commuter rail network
BOSTON – December 6, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s partner that operates the commuter rail, today announced Karen “Cookie” Sheers, Community Organizer for the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEC), as the recipient of the first Community Ambassador Award. This award was created by Keolis to recognize local partners who assist in promoting clean and safe environments, engaging in beautification efforts of commuter rail and transit hubs and engaging with community organizations to raise awareness of railroad operations and safety.
“We strive to form true partnerships with the communities served by commuter rail and Karen Sheers has been one of our strongest partners in neighborhoods along the Fairmount Line,” said Keolis General Manager and CEO David Scorey. “Karen’s work at the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation has helped us to connect with community leaders and to magnify the impact of environmental cleanups and safety programs. Her leadership has had a direct impact in mobility and livability in these neighborhoods, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to work with her on such important initiatives.”
“As an organization with deep roots in and an unshakable commitment to our community, we’re proud of Cookie’s vision and her initiative to enhance the look and feel of the Upham’s Corner MBTA station,” said Perry B. Newman, CEO of Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. “We very much appreciate Keolis’ recognition of her efforts, which will help us lift people up and make an even greater impact.”
Together with Keolis, Sheers has led community involvement in the beautification of areas around the Uphams Corner Commuter Rail station. She promotes civic engagement among neighborhood youth, residents and businesses and identifies pathways for stakeholders to collaborate on positive social, environmental and economic change. Ms. Sheers has been deeply involved with the planning and execution of community art restorations, promotion of the Fairmount Line’s use by new passengers and various cleanups, helping to re-landscape the Upham’s Corner Station and remove more than 100 bags of trash and debris from tracks and passenger areas.
To acknowledge Sheers’ commitment to the community, Keolis will donate $2,000 to the DBEDC in support of its mission to build a strong, thriving, and diverse community in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhoods.
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC) is a community development corporation founded by local civic associations in 1979 to address the problems of economic disinvestment, unemployment, crime, community tensions and the shortage of quality affordable housing undermining Boston’s Dorchester neighborhoods. Over the last 39 years, we have worked in partnership with local leaders and stakeholders to build and preserve 1,100 units of affordable housing and over 200,000 square feet of commercial space, to engage residents in community life, and to support a robust economy through small business support and economic development. The structures we have built are physical manifestations of our work, but at its core, our work is about strengthening our community, which is made up of the people who live in our service area. To learn more about Dorchester Bay, please visit www.dbedc.org.