Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Recommend us on Google+ Watch us on YouTube Join us on LinkedIn NLC on Reddit
New Leaders Council

Tyrone McGraw Memorial Award

"McGraw came from nothing to graduate from Stanford and begin a career in public service. The journey was miraculous. McGraw redefined the type of life that could be possible from the difficult circumstances he was born into, and he redefined my vision of success. He made me realize the dangers of judging others without the context of the respect and dignity they deserve."

-David Kiefer, "The Magic of Tyrone L. McGraw"

NLC Sacramento mourns Tyrone McGraw '15, who passed away in 2017 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. It is no overstatement to say that he was one of the best people any of us ever met. We were always inspired by Tyrone's boundless compassion and kindness to everyone around him. Despite accomplishing so much in the classroom, on the football field, or at work in the Capitol, he was the epitome of humility and grace. Tyrone was an integral part of the Sacramento community, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Ever year, NLC Sacramento honors Tyrone's memory by awarding one Fellow who, throughout the course of the Institute, best embodies and personifies the virtues of this extraordinary individual, and a beloved member of the New Leaders Council Sacramento family.

2018 Winner - Gül (Rose) Berktas

Rose currently serves as a Program Officer with CaliforniaVolunteers in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. There, she is responsible for ensuring grant monitoring and compliance for a portfolio of twelve AmeriCorps programs and assisting with the implementation, coaching, and training of these programs throughout the state. Rose specializes in supporting local, city, and county governments when they utilize volunteers and donations during times of disaster.

Prior to CaliforniaVolunteers, Rose was a Team Leader for two years with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, where she promoted professional and leadership development. She directly supervised, motivated, and coordinated a diverse team of young adults. During her two years of service, she worked as a wildland firefighter in Arizona, built educational trails in Washington, supported ten members in attaining their high school diplomas while constructing homes in California, and maintained a local community garden in Oregon.

At SUNY Stony Brook University, Rose earned her Bachelors of Arts and Sciences degree in both Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. During her time in New York, she volunteered as an EMT-B, served as a board member for Long Island Jobs with Justice, organized community events, and enjoyed the beach with her beloved dog.

Rose is passionate about community involvement, human rights, immigration policy, and tea to honor her Turkish roots (her family owns a tea farm in Rize, Turkey). In her spare time, you can find her boxing, riding her bicycle around town, volunteering with local nonprofits, hosting Nasty Women Wine Nights, exploring local coffee shops/breweries and encouraging her friends to go on spontaneous adventures with her.

Atlanta - Augusta - Austin - Boston - Broward - Capital District NY - Chicago - Cincinnati - Cleveland - Connecticut - Dallas - Denver - Des Moines
Detroit - Houston - Kentucky - Los Angeles - Louisiana - Madison - Maine - Maryland - Miami - Montana - Nashville - New Hampshre - New Jersey - New York City
North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Antonio - San Francisco - Silicon Valley