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Drum Major Award

Gary woman serves God by helping others

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Gary woman serves God through helping others

Sadie Ethridge, a nominee for the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award, poses in her Gary home. She currently works with at-risk kids, but was a civil rights activist in North Carolina in the 1960s.

GARY | Sadie Newby-Ethridge believes everyone has a purpose in life, and her purpose is to help set young people on the right path.

“God’s purpose for me is to work with young adults,” she said. “Working around kids inspires me, and keeps me young in the mind.”

Ethridge is a nominee for the Gary Frontiers Service Club's 2014 Drum Major Award. The award, which is inspired by the “Drum Major Instinct” sermon given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. two months before his assassination, recognizes people who dedicate their lives to improving the human condition.

Ethridge said she is honored to be nominated for the award.

“I am still on cloud nine about it,” she said. “I do what I do because I have a passion for it. I am so honored.”

Ethridge was born in Gary. She moved to South Carolina and graduated from Hillside High School in Durham, N.C.

She graduated from North Carolina College and was part of the civil rights struggle. She participated in sit-ins at the Woolworth five-and-ten store lunch counter in Durham, N.C.

She was arrested, jailed and ultimately released.

She returned to Gary and became involved in children’s education issues. For 23 years, she has been an adviser to Xinos and Kudos Youth Organization. She also works with eighth-graders in the Delta Academy.

Ethridge said today’s youths face so many challenges, including peer pressure, drugs and lack of guidance from adults.

What they need is nurturing and compassion, she said.

“We need to lead by example. We need to continue stressing education,” she said. “We need to help them perform to the best of their ability, or do better than normal to help them succeed.”

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