FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Jordan has presented Steve Hollingsworth with the FBI's annual Director's Award for Community Leadership Award. Hollingsworth, who recently retired as a Lieutenant with the Portland Police Bureau, has served as a leader and driving force behind the Portland Police Activities League (PAL) since its founding in 1989. He continues to actively work with the group in his retirement.
Every year, each of the FBI's 56 field offices nominate one person or group to receive the Director's Award for Community Leadership. The award, given on behalf of Director Robert Mueller, honors those who have undertaken extraordinary efforts in their personal or professional lives to deter drugs and violence.
"Steve Hollingsworth is a great example of someone who has gone above and beyond," said Special Agent in Charge Jordan. "He has shown the difference that one person can make when they are determined to make a difference. The children served by PAL in this area are very lucky to have someone like Steve on their side."
Portland's PAL is a nationally-recognized organization that serves at-risk children in the region with a variety of programs including an after school youth center, summer camp, sports programs and more. Hollingsworth spends much of his time working directly with the children PAL serves. He is known to take a one-on-one interest in the lives of the children, helping to keep them out of gangs and away from drugs.
One of his largest accomplishments was to rescue the Portland Youth Football Association as it was on the edge of dissolution and remake it into a PAL-sponsored program. Had the program closed its doors, it would have meant that more than 700 inner city youth would lose one of the few such activities available to them. Now, under Hollingsworth's leadership, the program serves these critically at-risk youth, providing them with an activity that emphasizes both physical fitness and life skills such as discipline and responsibility.
In addition to his work directly with the children, he has helped recruit many of the Police Bureau employees who have donated thousands of hours of volunteer service to PAL over the years. Hollingsworth has served as the President of the PAL Board of Directors, and he is a current member of the Executive Committee.
For more information about PAL, go to www.palkids.org.