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Empower Teacher Recognized with State Award 

(Niagara Falls, NY) - Empower Children’s Academy special education teacher, Shaila Kokil, was recognized by the New York State Office for the Aging for her commitment to her community with their Exemplary Volunteer Service Award on Older New Yorkers’ Day 2024. 


“It is truly an honor to be recognized by New York State, and I am humbled to receive this award,” Kokil said. “I have spent my career and my adult life not only working to help my students reach their full potential, but also to create a better, stronger, and more vibrant community. It is a rewarding experience to be able to do my job and serve my community, and I cannot wait to see all the future has in store!” 


“We could not be more proud and excited for Shaila receiving this award, there is no one more deserving and dedicated to her students and her community,” Empower CEO Diane Baehre said. “Here at Empower, we pride ourselves on building a strong workforce in our houses, vocational department, and our school, and Shaila is an exceptional example of what it means to live our values every single day. I congratulate her on this award and am so proud to have her on our team.”


Shaila has been an Employee of Empower for 20 years. In addition to working as a special education teacher in Empower’s Children’s Academy, Shaila is also the president of the Indian Senior Citizens Club of Western New York and served on the Executive Committee of the Hindu Cultural Center Society of Western New York from 2018 to 2022 where she planned educational and cultural programs, including art classes and sports tournaments. Shaila was also recognized as a Buffalo 60 Strong Ambassador.



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