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Community-minded VP to be honored as Distinguished Alumna of EDP
Friday, March 19, 2010

Audrey Pitts
Audrey Pitts, '82

Audrey Pitts of New York City will be honored as the 2010 Distinguished Alumna at the Educational Development Program’s 28th annual awards ceremony March 25. The EDP staff is proud that she has fulfilled the program motto of “Going Above and Beyond.”

A Brooklyn native who graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in sociology in 1982, Ms. Pitts is administrator/vice president, and shareholder at Progressive Home Health Services in New York City, an organization which offers a high level of quality home care services. She is responsible for overall management of the operational areas, including home health aide, home attendant, and family services homemaker programs.

During her 24 years at Progressive, Ms. Pitts has developed systems and operational structures that have encouraged growth of its capacity to serve over 2,000 clients in a variety of programs.

Ms. Pitts is a strong believer in the saying, “each one, teach one.” Having a special place in her heart for young people, she was instrumental in establishing a relationship between Progressive and Norman Thomas High School to provide after-school employment at Progressive to juniors and seniors selected by the school. Several of the high school graduates presently in college continue to work at the company. Progressive also works with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) by allocating slots for 4-5 students during the summer and pairing them with teams to enhance and develop their skills and work etiquette.

After graduating from Fredonia, she was a substitute teacher and literacy volunteer for foster children with Child and Family Service in Buffalo. She then joined People Care, Inc., in New York City, as a social work coordinator. With her proven ability to attract, nourish and maintain new business, she was hired at Progressive in 1986 as a home care coordinator. Her business acumen, relationship building, and leadership skills led to her promotion as administrator in 1989, advancing on in 1997 and to her present position in 2004. She has been a member of the Governing Board since 2004, Finance Committee, and Performance Improvement Committee, as well as a member of the New York State Home Care Association and New York State Association of Health Care Providers.

As a Fredonia undergraduate, Ms. Pitts was active in many groups. She was treasurer of the Gospel Choir, secretary of the Black Student Union, EDP peer advisor for incoming freshmen, and a member of the Spanish Club. Her community service continues as she contributes to various organizations and foundations through charitable donations, memberships, and matching donations from her company. She has traveled to China and Italy with a special group of ladies who raise funds for Madonna Heights, a charity which provides residential, community, mental health and outreach services to needy adolescent girls, women and families in Long Island, NY.

The 2010 EDP Distinguished Alumna is the proud mother of two sons, Jarrell and Tyree Stewart. Jarrell is a junior at Newberry College in South Carolina majoring in sports management with a minor in coaching. Tyree attended American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and will be attending culinary school in the fall.


Remaining dedicated to SUNY Fredonia, she returned to the campus in April 2008 for EDP’s alumni reunion. “I was eager to come back to Fredonia because some of the best years of my life were spent at Fredonia,” she said. “The EDP program and staff, many of my professors, and one very special dorm director were all supportive in many ways, willingly sharing their knowledge and experience to help make me a well-rounded individual, thereby enhancing my confidence. They helped me to thrive in a wonderfully new environment, believing in me and my abilities, emphasizing teamwork, and helping me set goals and remain focused to attain those goals. EDP opened the door and SUNY Fredonia helped me begin to build the foundation for success.”

Committed to public service, one of Ms. Pitts’ favorite quotes is, “If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far, walk with others” (author unknown).
 

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