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GREENFIELD — Phillip Ringwood ’99, ’03, was awarded the GCC 2021 Distinguished Alumni award at the college’s recent board of trustees meeting.

“Phil is an extraordinary leader and graduate who has accomplished so much since leaving GCC,” said GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández at the event. “We are just so proud to honor him as this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.”

The annual Distinguished Alumni Award was established by the Greenfield Community College Alumni Association to recognize and honor an alumni of GCC who has achieved substantial public recognition for their accomplishments or success.

Ringwood has worked at DIAL/SELF Youth and Community Services, a community-based non-profit agency that has been serving the youth and communities of Western Mass. since 1977, for more than 20 years and served as the executive director since 2012. The organization provides a wide array of services that foster youth empowerment and community service. Over the course of the last four decades, more than 40,000 area youth have been served by the agency in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties and the North Quabbin region.

In this role, he is especially proud of his experience advocating for the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Bill in the MA Legislature, informed by his own experience as a 15-year-old homeless youth. He actively included the community in developing the case for support to present to the delegation in support of the initiative.

“Phil is a leader within the community, always stepping up to the next challenge. He is collaborative and has helped form a solid network of community service organizations within the region” said Alexandria Green-Atchley, one of his DIAL/SELF colleagues who submitted a nomination for him.

The Class of 2019

Executive Director, DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services; Age 38
Education: Greenfield Community College (AA, AS)

Phillip Ringwood

Phillip Ringwood

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about helping young people have a chance to identify and work toward their own dreams. That passion is made manifest in my work with DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services over the last 20 years.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Remember to breathe and try to stay positive. I try to make sure to work in time for at least a minute or more of standing meditation.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? I would like to have lunch with world traveler, philanthropist, and motivational speaker Leon Logothetis. Leon has traveled the world twice without spending money, relying solely on the kindness of others for gas, food, lodging, and other needs. He then made meaningful gifts to people along the way as he was moved by their stories and kindness. He documented this in a documentary series called The Kindness Diaries. I think his stories and perspective would be very motivational.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? My most influential early mentor was my sixth-grade teacher. His words on the first day of class were something along the lines of, “you can do anything you want in my class, as long as you are ready to face the consequences.” Those words — and his encouragement of creativity and individuality balanced with accountability — have served me well over the years.

 

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

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