Do you know someone who has achieved measurable community impact and, in doing so, represents outstanding acts of public service? Does that person perform these acts without the expectation of recognition or compensation? And does this person demonstrate unique vision, dedication and tenacity of heroic proportion and serve as inspiration for others?

Well, we now know for sure that Gail Houlihan, a long-time member of the Junior League of Greater Princeton and former member of the Junior Leagues of New Jersey State Public Affairs, does because she has been awarded the 2016 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Service to Youth.

The Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, among others, to create a “Nobel Prize” for public service. Presented on both the national and local levels, the purpose of the awards is to honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service in order to inspire and encourage others to get involved. Awardees are selected based on the length of their volunteer service, the uniqueness of their actions and the impact they have made on the community.

Outside of her work with her JLGP and NJ SPAC, Gail’s impressive resume includes her tireless efforts on behalf of the children of New Jersey. She was a founding member of the New Jersey State Child Placement Advisory Council (CPAC), a program of the New Jersey Court System which reviews cases of children placed outside their homes by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), a research and advocacy group with a focus on key policy areas including child welfare, juvenile justice, early learning, health care for children and support for low-income families.