Ms. Alma Sisco-Smith was named the 2020 recipient of the City of Oceanside Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award at the annual commemoration celebration hosted by the North San Diego County Branch of the NAACP and the City of Oceanside.
Ms. Sisco-Smith is an individual who mirrors Dr. King’s spirit of service, leadership, and a carrier of light that exposes the greatness in others and the things that need change. Her generous nature and solid character allow her to compassionately serve with kindness, concern, courage and integrity. She is an exceptional leader and strong civic-minded ambassador for our community.
In 2009, Alma relocated to Oceanside and immediately became involved with the Oceanside Public Library Literacy READS program. She became one of the leaders of this program to lobby for sustained funding for READS. Alma has also served as a Trustee on the Library Board of Directors since 2012.
Ms. Sisco-Smith became involved with the North County African American Women’s Association and served as their Scholarship Chair from 2011-2013. In those years, the number of applicants increased two-fold, bringing stronger recognition to under-represented students. For the same organization, Alma began a mentoring program for 8th grade girls at King Middle School. In the pilot term, there were eight students, but with the recent addition of Jefferson Middle School, the number of participants is over 100 in 2019.
Sisco-Smith’s exceptional volunteer recognitions include 2011 READS Exceptional Service, 2012 Kiwanis, “Serving Children of the Community”, 2014 President’s National & Community Service Bronze Award, and 2015 Library Administration recognition.
Alma has made a connection with Dr. King’s thoughts, such as, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Alma stated, “These words have been guiding forces in my work.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service award is an annual award given to a resident of the City of Oceanside or MCB Camp Pendleton who exemplifies the ideals and teachings of Dr. King, and who has served the community in volunteer activities over a long period of time.