Foundation News

Meet the 2024 Julie Wright Changemaker Award honorees

Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus, Robin Wilson honored as 'courageous, equity-focused education advocates'

RICHMOND, CA — The Chamberlin Education Foundation honored Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus and Robin Wilson this month by presenting them with the 2024 Julie Wright Changemaker Award.

The two were recognized at an award ceremony for their ongoing commitment to student learning and education equity in West Contra Costa.

“I am very honored,” Wilson said when accepting her award. “It’s a total surprise.”

The Julie Wright Changemaker Award (JWCA) honors courageous, equity-focused education advocates working to improve student success in West Contra Costa public schools.

Launched in 2022, the award celebrates the life and legacy of Julie Wright, who served as Executive Director of the Chamberlin Family Foundation from 2012 to 2018, and passed away in 2020. 

The annual award previously recognized Stephanie Medley, Juanita Towns, Tana Monteiro, and Scottie Smith.

Dozens of guests attended an award event at the foundation’s Richmond headquarters to celebrate with Acosta-Verprauskus and Wilson.

“I remember standing in the hallways of Lincoln Elementary School speaking to Julie Wright,” Acosta-Verprauskus said at the award ceremony. 

“It was the first of many conversations about what was possible, and how we could get it done for West Contra Costa students,” she recalled.

“It was a relationship that was instrumental to my leadership, and one that opened up a world of opportunities and a sense of possibility.”

Each JWCA honoree receives a monetary award of $5,000, as well as $10,000 to grant to local, youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

In addition, prior JWCA awardees are invited to join a selection committee to select future honorees.

“I look forward to working with the foundation to pick next year’s honorees,”  Wilson said.

2024 JWCA Celebration Event Photos

About the Chamberlin Education Foundation

The Chamberlin Education Foundation supports initiatives that advance education equity and academic excellence in West Contra Costa public schools. CEF’s grants and programs support effective education leadership, high-quality curriculum and instruction, educator talent pipelines, and help create and sustain a student-centered public education ecosystem.

Click here for more about our team, our vision, and our foundation’s guiding principles.