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Great Ideas

Giving back fuels these ladies' lives

Addison Gaddy

Addison Gaddy is a junior at Centennial High School. Recently, as she has been getting very involved in global issues, she's noticed areas that need improvement in our own community. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she took on a program that can help kids and teens cope with racial trauma. Racial trauma is the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination. Addison says, “Many people who have been affected by racial trauma have kept it inside. It can lead to serious physical and mental issues in the future. My plan is to work with psychologists at Emory University to share tips and tricks for coping with racial trauma, so young people don't have to carry it with them in the future. This program will be available to everyone and has the ultimate goal of creating sensitivity to serious topics, so that people feel like they can talk about their feelings freely and without judgment. I plan on working with other organizations and students to make this a team effort. I hope that this program will make the topic of race more comfortable to talk about for all students, so we can gain a better understanding of each other.” Outside of school she likes to read, knit, crochet and hang out with friends.

Whitney Oeltmann

Following her father’s 2012 dementia diagnosis, Whitney DeMarlo Oeltmann quickly discovered there was a lack of information, family resources and support offered for those living with dementia and their caregivers. She felt called to help others facing similar uncertainty, and in 2016, she founded Dementia Spotlight Foundation (DSF). Whitney wears many hats at DSF, serving as co-founder, CEO and executive director. She leads employees and volunteers and advocates to ensure all programs meet the Foundation’s goals of providing a “guiding light” for those looking for a path forward. Oeltmann is also committed to raising public understanding of dementia-related diseases. The Foundation recently joined forces with Roswell-based dementia support group Amy’s Place, and are expanding their offerings throughout Georgia and Florida. When she’s not spearheading the next initiative for Dementia Spotlight Foundation or spending time with her family, Oeltmann enjoys reading, cooking and birdwatching. She lives in Brookhaven with her husband and two daughters and is an active member of her community.

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