Annual recognition honors adult advocates for youth who embody spirit of public service

The Westchester County Youth Board presented the 2024 Rosemarie Siragusa Award to three dedicated advocates for youth who have helped to improve the lives of children, youth and families in Westchester County. Those recognized were Roseanne Aresty, Amy Auld-Owens, M.S. Ed. and Terry A. Joyner who were selected by their peers for their tireless volunteer efforts and embodiment of what the Rosemarie Siragusa Award was intended to represent.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Mrs. Siragusa understood the value of creating a community of caring, civically engaged youth. These honorees who tirelessly dedicate their time and efforts towards the enrichment of our young people and future is what this award is all about, helping to keep legacy of Rosemarie Siragusa alive.”

Aresty is a long-time volunteer with Yonkers Partners in Education, helping underrepresented and under-resourced students apply to and prepare for college admission and success. Auld-Owens spearheads various initiatives for youth in her memberships in the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Jack & Jill of America, including raising money for scholarships, partnering with schools for leadership workshops and community service activities. Joyner supports youth in her roles in the Links, Inc. and G.O.O.D. for Girls. She has conducted collections of coats, books, and school supplies, and has coordinated a reading program at a family shelter. In 2023, she put her career on hold to adopt a baby girl born to teen parents to provide her a loving home.

Westchester County Youth Board Chairperson Dr. Alexandria Connally said:  “As a member of the Westchester and East Putnam Regional PTSA and the current Chair of the Westchester County Youth Board, I am pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Rosemarie Siragusa Youth Service Award. Rosemarie Siragusa was a remarkable advocate for young people throughout Westchester County. The 2024 recipients embody the passion, advocacy, and much-needed support in Westchester County”

About Rosemarie Siragusa Awards

The Rosemarie Siragusa Award is given in memory of Rosemarie Siragusa, the founder and first chairperson of the Westchester County Youth Board. Ms. Siragusa, who dedicated her life to helping children, served on the PTA at the local, county and state levels until she became the President of the Yonkers Council of PTAs. Desiring to serve in a greater capacity, she became a trustee and an officer of the Yonkers Board of Education.

This award is presented to adult advocates for youth who have embodied the work of Rosemarie Siragusa and her commitment to serving youth and their families in Westchester County.


Rosanne Aresty

Rosanne Aresty has been working in college access since 2016 in various capacities. Since 2018, she has worked/volunteered with Yonkers Partnership in Education (YPIE) as a college advisor and coach. YPIE works with students to ensure they are ready for, enroll in, and complete college. Ms. Aresty has grown from working with one student to now serving a whole school as a de facto college counselor and coaching other volunteers. Her knowledge of the college access process and her willingness to devote significant time volunteering resulted in her being assigned her own caseload of high school juniors each spring. She has been an in-house college advisor at the Charter School of Education (CSEE) in Yonkers. She is responsible for shepherding her students through the entire college process, including the application process, providing students and families an overview of the process, developing their college lists, scholarships and financial aid information, and much more. Her volunteer work focuses on first-generation, economically challenged students from underrepresented minorities.

Ms. Aresty is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from CUNY Lehman College School of Education, Class of 2025. Ms. Aresty, her husband, and three daughters have been long-time Mamaroneck residents.

Amy Auld-Owens, M.S. Ed.

Amy Auld-Owens was raised in Greenburgh and is a proud graduate of Woodlands High School in Hartsdale. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature (SUNY New Platz), a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages ~ Adults (SUNY Westchester Community College); and an M.S. Ed. in Special Education with a focus on Urban Adolescent Education, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the School of Education’s Excellence Award in recognition for her “High Standards of Excellence in Teaching Urban Adolescents with Disabilities” upon the recommendation of the Faculty of the Dept. of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership of the LIU Brooklyn ~ School of Education.

Ms. Auld-Owens is an educator with the New York City Department of Education. She has served as Special Education Liaison, Student-Teacher Coach, and currently serves as a New Teacher Mentor, and Grade-Level ELA Lead. Passionate about teaching and enriching the lives of others, Ms. Auld-Owens is the Founder and CEO of Alternative Learning Solutions, LLC. She is a writing coach, ghost writer, and editor with multiple clients who have had their works on best sellers' lists.

Ms. Auld-Owens is in her second term, and fourth year as President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Nu Psi Zeta Chapter. Previously, she has served as Chaplain, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Youth Advisor, Finer Womanhood Chair, Scholarship Chair, Sunshine Committee Chair, Hospitality Chair, and Kwanzaa Chair. In addition to her dedication to Nu Psi Zeta Chapter, she is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Westchester County Chapter. She has served as Grade-Group Chair, Co-Teen Advisor, Lead Teen Advisor, and Regional Middle School Advisor. Currently, she is the Chapter’s Five-Star Chair. 

Ms. Auld-Owens gives thanks daily for the blessing of her mother, Laura Auld; her father Robert Auld who was called from labor to rest in November of 2023; for the love of her life, Brian Owens, and their three children, Cassius, Kaylee, and Cameron.

Terry A. Joyner

Terry A. Joyner is a Sr. Occupational Therapist who serves as the Rehab Program manager at The Knolls. Being a therapist is truly her life’s calling – “It is a tremendous feeling to see someone’s life transform when working with them in therapy.” This same feeling translates when she works with the youth here in Westchester County and beyond. Ms. Joyner is a proud Diamond-Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Over the years she has participated in community service to provide mentoring and items of need to young people and families. Ms. Joyner has served as the chapter’s scholarship chair, providing scholarships to deserving young women. She volunteers as a reader for the November reading program at Greenburgh Early Childhood education program.

Ms. Joyner is a member of The Links, Incorporated, Westchester County (NY) Chapter. Since joining in 2010, she has served in several capacities, including Fundraising Co-chair, Services To Youth Facet Co-Chair, Vice President, and is the immediate past President. The role that has brought her the most joy and fulfillment is working with The Links Young Achievers program. This program prepares young males of African descent to attend college. Ms. Joyner is also instrumental with the chapter’s annual Karolyn Thomas & Florence Scott book fair. She is part of the Reimagined Reading Program for young children at The Coachman Center. Ms. Joyner has traveled abroad to participate in global mission trips to provide educational curriculum & physical education; collected much needed eyewear, educational materials and supplies to donate to the schools.

Ms. Joyner serves on the advisory board of Good For Girls, Inc., a Christian-based girls mentoring program. Ms. Joyner believes that it is an honor and privilege to serve and to give back to our young people and assist them with becoming successful people who will one day pay it forward to those in need.