NEN Awards

2016 NEN Awards

The NEN Team would like to thank everyone who attended the 8th annual NEN Awards honoring San Francisco community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to improve neighborhoods by making them a safer, cleaner, greener, and healthier place to live, work, and raise a family. The ceremony was a beautiful evening full of smiles, laughter, and even a few tears. Stay tuned in the up coming weeks as we post video coverage and photos from the evening.

Congratulations to the 2016 NEN Award Winners!

NEN Hall of Fame – Rosario Anaya
Many of our neighborhoods have been forever changed for the better by fellow San Franciscans who are no longer with us. The NEN Hall of Fame award acknowledges these leaders and their contributions that continue to positively impact our lives on a daily basis. Rosario Anaya was the executive director of Mission Language and Vocational School for over 40 years and served as SF Board of Education president. She has forever changed the lives of thousands of new immigrants to SF by providing them free ESL classes, vocational training and job placement.

NERT Leadership Award – Sylvia Borgonovo
The SFFD’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, or NERT, initiative has trained thousands of San Franciscans to play an integral role in the City’s response to and to provide leadership and support to their communities on a daily basis. The NERT Leadership Award salutes the hard work of Sylvia Borgonovo, who exemplifies the best of what NERT contributes every day in our City’s communities.

Most Empowering City Employee of the Year Award – Capt. Joseph McFadden
Captain Joseph McFadden of the of SFPD’s Ingleside Station revived the honor for the Most Empowering City Employee of the Year Award. This award highlights an employee of the City and County of San Francisco who has consistently been a valued asset to community members as they work to build cleaner, greener, healthier, safer and more economically vibrant communities.

Best Graffiti Watch Volunteer Award – Kappa Sigma Fraternity Pi-Upsilon Chapter
The Graffiti Watch Program supports residents as they keep their neighborhood looking its best by keeping it graffiti free. The Academy’s Fraternity, Pi Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Sigma is committed to community beautification by picking-up cigarette butts and other street litters, and abating graffiti on public properties on 16 city-blocks including Post, Sutter, Bush & Pine from Mason to Leavenworth Streets.

Neighborhood Youth Leadership Award – Joshua Cardenas
The Youth Neighborhood Leader Award was presented to a young San Franciscan who has put in considerable work to strengthen their community. Joshua Cardenas was a previous District 10 Youth Commissioner and has worked on issues of homelessness, youth with incarcerated parents and most recently on giving the right for 16 year olds to vote on issues and legislation that affect other youth.

Best Neighborhood Watch Group – 500-700 block of San Bruno Ave Neighborhood Watch Group
The 500-700 block of San Bruno Ave Neighborhood Watch Group was awarded for the Best Neighborhood Watch group. This award recognizes the SAFE Neighborhood Watch group who has made exceptional contributions to their neighborhood by making it a safer, stronger, more vibrant and better overall place to live or work.

Outstanding Park Volunteer Group – Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground
The Outstanding Volunteer Group Award represents volunteer groups that are instrumental to the success of the city to provide clean, safe and fun parks to the public. The Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground are a motivated group of volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to improve and maintain our city’s parks.

Invest in Neighborhoods Project Grant – 3rd on 3rd St Project
Invest in Neighborhoods, in partnership with Office of Economic and Workforce Development, provides grant funding for neighborhood improvement projects that are available to community-based groups and organization. The 3rd on 3rd Street Project is the winner of Best Invest in Neighborhood Project Grant as they have excelled in strengthening the commercial districts in the surrounding area, generating economic activity, and increasing foot traffic to their neighborhood.

Best Community Building Event – ART NIGHT SF
The Best Community Building Event is awarded to a project that organizes and hosts wonderful events that build community and partnership throughout the city. ART NIGHT SF, in partnership with San Francisco Public Works and Market Street Association, has led wonderful community building events that had a positive community-building impact in San Francisco.

Best Merchant Association/CBD – Outer Mission Merchants and Residents Association
The Outer Mission Merchants and Residents Association are awarded the Best Merchant Association Award which honors their work toward improving their community’s commercial corridor. The Outer Mission Merchants and Residents Association have been politically active and have helped encourage community safety and improvements on parks.

Best Community Green Project – The Euclid Garden Expansion Project
The ongoing effort to protect and preserve the natural environment in San Francisco is the result of communities working together to green their neighborhoods. The Best Community Green Project is awarded to The Euclid Garden Expansion Project, an environmental justice project working with teen girls coming out of the juvenile justice system to beautify their environment via gardening and art.

Best Community Challenge Grant Project – Hidden Garden Steps
Hidden Garden Steps Project has played a vital role in helping build stronger neighborhoods. As the winners of the Best Community Challenge Grant Project, they have focused on public art by beautifying a gathering place consistent with the nature and spirit on the neighborhood.

Comeback Neighborhood of the Year – The Cayuga
The Comeback Neighborhood of the Year Award was given to the neighborhood that has really turned things around for its residents through collective problem solving and leadership. The Cayuga neighborhood has invested in its residents by developing community networks that keep track of civil issues while building relationships that encourage ongoing care for all of its community members.

NEN Lifetime Achievement Award – Joelle Kenealey
Our neighborhoods are teeming with resident leaders who have been making a difference in the lives of those around them for years. This year we honor the leadership of Joelle Kenealy as the recipient of the NEN Lifetime achievement Award. Joelle has worked tirelessly for the community and has truly aided in making her neighborhood a better place to work and live.

NEN Award Coverage:


Click here to view and download all of the amazing photos from the 2016 NEN Awards!

2016 NEN Awards


Check out the full coverage of the 8th Annual NEN Awards! See all of the winners, listen to acceptance speeches, and remember the important work of our neighborhood leaders!

NEN Award Sponsors:


Recology Logo


Nextdoor Logo


AT&T Logo

Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank Logo

Community Challenge Grant Program

Community Challenge Grant Logo

San Francisco Association of Realtors

Association of Realtors Logo

San Francisco Federal Credit Union

SF Federal Credit Union Logo

NEN Award Fiscal Sponsor:


NEN Award Partners:

  • SF Public Works
  • NERT
  • The Community Challenge Grant Program
  • Dept. of Emergency Management
  • The General Services Agency
  • San Francisco Police Department
  • Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Service
  • Recreation and Parks Department
  • Office of Economic and Workforce Development
  • Invest in Neighborhoods

Special Thank:

  • St. John’s Production Event