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Vicksburg native Helen Collin has been named as the recipient of the Dorothy Donahue Award



Helen Collins receiving award
Helen Collins: Photo submitted

Vicksburg native Helen Collin has been named as the recipient of the Dorothy Donahue Award.

Collins is the fourth of 13 children born in 1946 to Monroe and Alice Williams, sharecroppers in Hinds County, Mississippi. All of the Williams children graduated college and landed professional careers, or had highly successful military careers.

Raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Helen graduated from Rosa A. Temple High School in 1964 and from Alcorn University in 1970. Helen’s first political action was a high school sit in when she was young.

After she completed college, Helen was recruited to teach with the Bakersfield City School District. That same year, she married Andrew and had three children (Brenda, Andrew Jr. and Merrick). She raised her family and educated many young students in her new hometown of Bakersfield.

As a teacher for the Bakersfield City School District, Helen was Grade Level Chair, Building Representative, Area Representative, California Teachers Association (CTA) State Council Representative, CTA African-American Caucus Chair. She was also the first African American President of the Bakersfield City School Teachers Association.

Helen had a distinguished teaching career that spanned nearly 40 years before retiring in 2007. She is also a retired member of CTA, the National Education Association, CARE and CalTRA.

Though no longer teaching in the classroom, she is still teaching all of us.Today,Helen keeps busy staying involved in organizations and causes close to her heart. She is a member of the Kern Democratic Central Committee, where she serves on the executive board, and is a longstanding member of Democratic Women of Kern.

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