2021 Bridges Over Awardees

Lecia Harrison

Bridges Over Health

Lecia Harrison is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). She has worked with women and children who have been the victims of domestic violence: child protective services, adult protective services, individuals with mental illness, hospital patients and the disabled. Lecia received a masters in social work (MSW) from California State Stanislaus and a bachelor of science in community studies from Humphreys College. Lecia has spent 20+ years working with the public and 17 of those years working as a civil servant in a multitude of roles with Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. Lecia has lived in Stockton for more than 25 years and has three children: Christopher, Brittany and Brandon (deceased). Lecia and Brandon shared a passion for social and racial justice. Lecia has a deep understanding of disparity and disproportionality within the prison, healthcare, mental health, housing, education, child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. Lecia works hard to educate members of this community to use their voices to advocate for themselves, family, friends and community. 

Henry Phillips

Bridges Over Faith

Henry D. Phillips is a husband, father, Pastor, Principal, and dedicated community member. Pastor Henry  D. Phillips has lived in Stockton his whole life and has been a member of The Open Door House of  Prayer, where he now serves as Senior Pastor, for almost as long. He has worked hard to enrich the  minds and souls of Stockton residents.  

Pastor Phillips believes that building relationships is the key to building God’s kingdom. He has served as  director of Christian Education and as a minister. He has been able to use his teaching and preaching  skills to build relationships with people and bring them closer to God with practical steps for their  future.  

Pastor Henry has used his ministerial certification, A.A. in communications, B.A. in liberal arts, and M.A. in administrative services to inform the way he preaches and teaches. He has taught Wednesday Night  Bible Study, served as the Audio-Visual technician, and been the director of the Praise & Worship team at TODHOP. His sermons and Bible Studies are always sure to contain an extra lesson on topics like: History, Pop culture, grammar, emotional/mental health, or sports. Pastor Henry not only works within  his home church, but in the faith community across the valley as part of Faith in The Valley. In all his  roles he chooses to build relationships and train others around him.  

Mr. Phillips became Interim Senior Pastor of TODHOP in February of 2020. His faith, leadership, and  dedication helped to carry TODHOP through a trying time as the congregation faced a transitional period  in leadership as well as the Corona Virus. Pastor Henry’s work in the faith community does not change  from the work he does day-to-day. He is sure to build a relationship with others that is guided by God’s  love and the God given gifts he can discern within the people he meets.

Candelaria Vargas

Bridges Over Education

Candelaria is a 3rd generation Central Valley resident and has lived the last 15 years in San Joaquin County. She currently works for the largest progressive nation-wide media outlet, Daily Kos. She has served as board trustee for Stockton Unified School District, Area 7 from 2018, until June 2021. Her professional background includes numerous political campaigns as well as nonprofit communications, fundraising, and community organizing.

As a granddaughter of migrant farmworkers, a former foster child turned valedictorian, and a survivor of childhood trauma, Candelaria is driven to leverage her education and work experience to empower families and help reconstruct systems that marginalize communities.

She graduated from the University of the Pacific with my Bachelors (BA) in Spanish Literature and a double concentration in Pedagogy and a minor in International Relations. She earned her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from CSU, Stanislaus.

Candelaria’s work with Daily Kos consists of nation-wide coalition building and organizing on various progressive issues ranging from comprehensive immigration reform, to Medicare for all. This work also consists of email list growth for our company which generates about 90% of our multimillion dollar budget.

She is also a mom of two tenacious and brilliant little brown girls ages 24 months and 4.5 years old. She says they are her whole world and motivations for her community service and tenure as a school board member.

She also serves on a number of boards, advisory committees, and mentorship programs serving youth in our community.

As a former foster kid, she is driven to make our community better to serve our youth and families. She believes our communities can do so much as a whole to serve all families in all areas, it’s just a matter of will from our leaders, inclusion, and creativity.

When not working, or community organizing, pre COVID you could find Candelaria backpacking across the globe with her daughters Athena and Artemis and husband Max or training for the next 10k. She also enjoys local restaurants and wineries.

Tanice Wallace

Bridges Over Social Justice

Tanice is the Program Manager for Public Health Advocates’ Faces of Resilience youth  leadership group. For the past two and a half years Tanice has been determined to make true  connections with the young people of Stockton to learn their needs, desires, and how best to be  an adult ally. Tanice’s work with Public Health Advocates focuses on building young people up  to strengthen their innate leadership skills. Tanice’s passion lies in working with youth to  illuminate disparities by analyzing how they are related to more complex structural problems.  This step in building relationships with youth is crucial in empowering them to realize their  voice and agency to make change. Tanice has had the pleasure to work with youth on issues  including but not limited to school-based discrimination, mental health stigma reduction, childhood trauma awareness, and park equity.  

Tanice holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Public Health and a minor in Sociology from San Diego  State University. Tanice’s education in combination with her lived experience drives her to seek  out injustice in all areas of her life and the lives of those around her. She truly believes that youth  voices are a vital contribution to community and holds solutions to some of today’s most  pressing issues. Tanice’s main goal is to empower as many youth as she can to demand seats at  tables that are discussing youth related topics, and to eventually work with youth to build and  maintain their own table, ensuring they hold true power and make real change in their  communities.


Program Awards

  • AAAWLC Scholarship –
  • Brandon Harrison Power and Purpose Scholarship –
  • Empowered Women of Excellence Award –  
  • Girls Loving Our Worth Award –

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