Jamet Colton, who works as an Educational Assistant at Fellows Elementary School, was recognized at the recipient of the 2017 Ames Humanitarian Award during the citywide celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, on Jan. 23, 2017. The award recognizes and honors a worthy individual whose contributions to the Ames community demonstrate extraordinary quality, especially in efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and equity.
Colton, who emigrated from Chile to the United States as a young adult, was lauded for her work such as serving as a Spanish interpreter for families in the District, for volunteering as an advocate for Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence and organizing events in the community such as a LGBTQ inclusive community potluck and the “Call for Action Rally Against Hate and Gun Violence” in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. Colton also assists parents of dyslexic children in finding resources at the local chapter of the Decoding Dyslexia Iowa support group and serves as the chairwoman of the outreach committee for the Ames Progressive Alliance.
In her acceptance speech, Colton emphasized her call to “inclusion, solidarity, acceptance, love and ambition” using a phrase from her native Chile: “Ahora es cuando,” which, in Spanish, means “now is when.”
“Ahora es cuando — now is when you look around this room and remember the faces, and know that everyone like you here at this very moment cares and wants to make Ames, the world, a better place,” she said. “Ahora es cuando — now is when love wins.”