Annual awards recognize three outstanding staff

Cathy Batista, Sabine Mondesir, Laura Lazarus, and Roy Reid, with their staff achievement awards

Every year, three awards are given to Lantern staff members to recognize their outstanding service. This year’s awards were given at our all-staff meeting on January 19th, where Executive Director Laura Lazarus was also thanked for her service.

Leadership Award: Cathy Batista, Vice President of Bronx Programs
During Cathy’s 3 ½ years at Lantern, she has always demonstrated that she is a supportive supervisor who offers guidance to her staff with respect and fairness. Cathy not only makes herself available to the Program Directors who work under her, but to all Lantern staff members, as well as clients.

Cathy goes above and beyond in terms of advocating for her staff. She’s always looking out for their best interests and she really cares. She is constantly thinking about how to keep morale high and encourages her staff to focus on self-care. She also encourages her staff to develop professionally and is happy to recommend them for educational programs and scholarships.

She is incredibly responsive and has been known to respond to emails and calls at all hours, day or night. She’s always willing to do what needs to be done. As the Vice President of the Bronx sites, Cathy oversees five buildings, and she knows each and every client. She spends an incredible amount of time getting to know clients and she is deeply involved in their lives. Her dedication to the clients we serve allows Cathy to be an exemplary model to her staff.

Cathy’s passion for social services is evident in everything she does and she is a true leader at Lantern. We are grateful for her enthusiasm for what we do and appreciate the way in which she leads her staff.

Lantern Spirit Award: Sabine Mondesir, Health & Wellness Coordinator, Prospero Hall & Schafer Hall
As Health & Wellness Coordinator, Sabine has helped develop the Food 4 Life program and has taken great ownership of the Fresh Food Box program. She uses these programs to provide a nurturing, comforting, and welcoming environment for her clients. Sabine understands that food can be used to bring people together and her dedication to these food programs has been significant.

On Fresh Food Box days, you can watch her in action as clients gather around her as she slices, chops and stirs, and as she explains what she’s cooking and encourages those around her to share their own experiences with food and cooking. You can always hear music playing and laughter shared in the Prospero community room.

Sabine attends most Food 4 Life classes, often working until after 9 pm. Her belief in the healing power of cooking and sharing meals always came first. She was instrumental in encouraging our young adults to attend these classes.

Clients and her colleagues often seek out Sabine to celebrate their successes and to ask for encouragement when they face challenges. Her office is a respite for clients and her infectious energy is a huge reason why people gravitate towards her. Sabine is a perfect example of a team player, whose positive attitude touches everyone around her.

Tamieka Williams Client Advocacy Award: Elroy Reid, Resident Manager, Rustin House
When Roy first started at Rustin House, there were only two staff members and 29 clients. Now, he works with 123 clients. His work ethic has never faltered, and he manages to engage with every single one of those clients, even those who don’t engage with their Case Managers. Roy is often brought into meetings with clients because of his in-depth knowledge of them and his ability to engage.

On his days off, Roy checks in with security staff, and they know that they’re able to call him any time, day or night. The security staff look to him for guidance, following his lead and emulate his work ethic. He takes the initiative with new staff, assisting Case Managers with apartment inspections and supporting our Leasing and Compliance team.

Roy’s colleagues say that he is tough, strong, and firm, but is really a teddy bear deep down. He is a great representative of Lantern and always has our clients’ best interests at heart.


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