The YWCA of Central Massachusetts has announced five recipients of this year’s Katharine F. Erskine Awards, which will be presented at a celebration at Mechanics Hall on May 7.

The honorees are Tracy Kraus, arts and culture; Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, business and law; Eve Gilmore, community social service and government; Joyce McNickles, education; and Kimberly Salmon, health, science and technology.

“These women have worked diligently to make their mark in their respective professions,” the YWCA said in a statement. “They have created change in their communities. They opened doors for younger women and people of color, breaking down barriers for future generations of female leaders.” -

Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian - business and law

Ms. Niyonzima-Aroian, who grew up in Burundi, remembered stories of how her mother cultivated and harvested coffee to pay for school fees. Now Ms. Niyonzima-Aroian has returned to these roots. She founded JNP Coffee to produce, promote and trade African specialty coffee. She also founded Burundi Friends International, a nonprofit that collaborates with other nonprofits to offer financial literacy education to female coffee farmers in Burundi.


Article credit to the Worcester Telegram, Journalist, Cyrus Moulton, Excerpts from "5 women to receive Erskine Awards from YWCA Central Mass."