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Awards Ceremony 2021

The Event


September 3o, 2021
7pm ET

The PowerOn Awards Ceremony honors individuals and organizations within the program whose tireless work helps keep LGBTQ+ communities connected to the resources they need.

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The Awards


Change Agent

Denise Spivak, CenterLink

Denise Spivak is the CEO of CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers. Founded in 1994, CenterLink  plays an important role in supporting the growth of LGBT centers across the country and addressing the  challenges they face, by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity and  increase access to public resources in support of their programs. CenterLink also acts as the voice for  LGBT community centers in national grassroots organizing, coalition building and awareness-raising in  order to strengthen and build a unified center movement.  
Denise joined CenterLink in 2011 after working in the private sector for over twenty years in both  broadcasting and management. She is a graduate of Gettysburg College where she received her B.A. in  Psychology. 

Denise holds a certification from BoardSource for nonprofit governance training and is a Standards for  Excellence Licensed Consultant. 

Denise was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. After living in the mid-Atlantic region for 30  years, she and her wife moved to Florida where they currently reside.


Denise Spivak
CEO, Centerlink


Waves Ahead
San Juan & cabo Rojo, puerto rico

Superstar Center

Waves Ahead supports marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society, including LGBTQ+ older adults, female heads of household, those experiencing homelessness and others by giving them the necessary help to strengthen their community and family environment.

Waves Ahead, Puerto Rico


The Role Model award honors a youth who sets the bar for themselves and their peers while participating in the PowerOn Program.

Danny Flores is a trans, multidisciplinary artist and community organizer. He was born in Tamaulipas, Mexico and has lived in Columbia, SC for the past 19 years. His immigrant and queer experience shapes his art and community work, which focuses on injustices faced by immigrant/Latine and LGBTQ+ communities. 



Danny F.
Harriet Hancock center foundation


Runner up

I'm a person who is determined to get what she deserves in life. I may be knocked down but I push through adversity, doubt, negativity and pull myself up.I never wanted to be apart of the pack; I was meant to lead it into greatness.

Destiney L.


Scott Sapperstein

Scott is a longtime corporate leader and advocate for LGBTQ civil rights both inside and outside of the workplace. He volunteers his time and expertise to various organizations that support the LGBTQ community through suicide education and prevention, antibullying campaigns, and programs to end youth homelessness. Scott believes in the power of connectivity and works to empower LGBTQ youth by closing the digital divide and improving access to technology and the internet.

scott_1424 (002) square aspect final.jpg

Scott SapPerstein Assistant Vice President Public Affairs, AT&T


The Trailblazer award honors an adult who has taken full advantage of the opportunities provided by access to technology.


runner up










My name is Shanteria Smith, 25 years of age born and raised in Memphis Tn. I am identified as she/her/hers. I’m currently following my dream as a barber/hairdresser. In my spare time I listen to music and make short- and long-term goals for my future career.




Douglas b.
Waves ahead

Douglas Brown was born on January 11, 1958 in Portage County, Ohio. His upbringing occurred in Ohio; he graduated from the High School in Rootstown, Ohio. In 2013, after his parents died and his rest of the family disconnected with him because he was gay, he traveled to the warm weather of the south. He moved to Atlanta Georgia for few years. He couldn't find a job, and lived in the streets of Georgia until he moved to Miami, Florida. After trying to make it for a year in Florida, he decided to move in September 2016 to Puerto Rico. After few months of arriving, he found a job and a small apartment. In 2019, he heard of SAGE from a health care worker at a local agency. They referred him to SAGE and since then he found a family in Waves Ahead and SAGE Puerto Rico. He currently lives in a studio in San Juan and works some hours at local gay owned businesses plus provides volunteer hours at the Community Center for LGBT+ Older Adults in San Juan.

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