Newsmaker

August 06, 2006|By JULIE SCHARPER

Aline Kirk-Watson

Occupation

Acting manager of the Western Community Action Center

In the news

In the past few weeks, Kirk-Watson has handed out hundreds of bottles of water to people who visit the Western Community Action Center, one of 10 locations that Baltimore has designated as cooling centers. When people come to the cooling center to pick up water or ice or just relax in the air conditioning, Kirk-Watson helps them apply for energy assistance. In addition, she spent several hours on the road each day last week delivering fans to seniors and families. The cooling centers, a joint project of five city agencies, open when the city declares a "Code Red" day. Their purpose is to prevent seniors and vulnerable residents from suffering heat-related medical problems.

Career highlights

Kirk-Watson has spent her professional life helping city residents pay their energy bills. From 1983 to 1995, she worked for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program. Since 1995, she has worked at community action centers in the northern, southeastern and western areas of the city. Since 2002, she has served as the manager or the acting manager of the western center.

Personal

Kirk-Watson, 43, a Baltimore native, graduated from Southwestern Senior High in 1980 and studied at Sojourner-Douglass College for three years. She lives in Violetville with her husband, Donald Watson Sr., and son, Arthur Jackson, 12.

Philosophy

"Just helping people - that's my main thing. I think that's what I was put here to do."

[Julie Scharper]

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