May 22, 2015
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Published May 21, 2015
To view the story online, visit: http://www.newsherald.com/news/crime-public-safety/unsung-hero-honored-by-gulf-correctional-institution-1.480782.
PANAMA CITY — A local "unsung hero" has been honored for her service in helping incarcerated people.
Kimberly Stavenau, a Panama City resident and senior chaplain at Gulf Correctional Institution (GCI), was honored with the "Secretary's Award" on May 13 at the Department of Corrections Annual Awards Ceremony.
Stavenau, employed within the Chaplaincy Department at GCI for nearly 20 years, was recognized by Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones during the ceremony at Wakulla Correctional Institution. The Secretary's Award is personally chosen by Jones to give "special recognition to an 'unsung' hero whose performance is outstanding, yet who maintains a low profile within the department."
Jones said Stavenau "exemplifies professionalism in every aspect of her duties," which include coordinating volunteers from surrounding community to "preach, teach and mentor" inmates.
The GCI Chaplaincy Department exceeds 20,000 volunteer hours at times, the DOC noted.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.