ALEXANDRIA, La. (City of Alexandria) - Mrs. Joan A. Lee, retiring executive director of Cenla Community Action Committee, Inc., received a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during a City of Alexandria Division of Community Services Women’s History Month Luncheon at Alexandria Convention Hall.
Lee, a 1964 graduate of Grambling College, began her career with CCAC in 1967 as the assistant Head Start director and nutritionist. In only five years, she was promoted to Head Start director and later became executive director of CCAC, leading Head Start as well as directing programs to provide community services for low-to-moderate income families with special emphasis on the elderly and disabled populations.
Many of Lee’s Head Start participants have gone on to become doctors, attorneys, teachers, CEO’s, business owners, first responders and contributing citizens of their communities.
One such student, Von Jennings, director of City of Alexandria Community Services Division, presented the award to Mrs. Lee.
“We take this opportunity to salute Mrs. Lee’s 51 years of service to the Cenla Community Action Committee, the community and the children of Rapides Parish,” Jennings said.
Making a difference in the lives of children and families was Lee’s guiding principle.
“Mrs. Lee has served this community and its children greatly over many decades,” said Mayor Jeff Hall. “It is certainly our honor to honor her for such a career dedicated to service of others.”
Lee’s accomplishments during her tenure at CCAC also included a staff retirement plan, expansion of Head Start to include infants and toddlers, additional facilities in the parish and an administrative office.
“When we are done here today, the strength I believe that we, as women, are on the path to show the world that females may not possess the muscle power that men have, but our brain power is our equalizer,” Lee said. “We can and will support one another in our effort to gain due respect and equal recognition and pay. Again, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and pray that each of you continue to be blessed.”