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Shawn Palmer honored with “Living the Dream” award

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The YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and the United Way of Adams County are excited to announce that Shawn Palmer has been awarded the “Living the Dream Award,” in conjunction with the community’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shawn has put words to action by making a sacrifice to bring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to life: “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” 

Shawn has been a member of this community since ­­­­­1996, moving here from Wilkes-Barre, PA. After High School he attended college at Bloomsburg University where he majored in Criminal Justice. He made a conscious decision to enter the field of Law Enforcement to add diversity to a very non-diverse department at the Gettysburg Barracks, as a State Trooper, where Shawn served honorably for over 25 years. He recently left his State Trooper position with hopes that he can do even more from the outside than he could inside the system.

Shawn’s choice of profession has empowered many young African American boys to see themselves and some law enforcement officers in a different light. He has helped them to recognize what they can do to benefit themselves and their community by looking at policing as helpful, not intrusive. Shawn exemplifies the change that one person with high moral standards and sheer determination can make on changing the perceived stereotypes for the betterment of an entire community.

Shawn has done his share of volunteer activities – he taught classes, volunteered on served on several Committees at Foursquare Church; He was a soccer coach for several year; volunteered at the Face of America Fundraising Ride for military/injured veterans; Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice; Gettysburg Heritage Festival; served on the Committee for the 2021 Juneteenth Celebration at the Gettysburg rec park; participated in Christmas present donations; he delivered food to families in need as well as taking surplus food donations to SCCAP for use in the Food Bank; he participated in the 4th of July protest against the KKK rally with Professor Scott Hancock and reported on it, by writing an article in the Gettysburg Times. 

Shawn has also helped the homeless find a place to live, with him temporarily, and by using his community connections to find alternate living arrangements for them. He has always made himself available to speak with youth groups and individuals about living a goal-oriented life. The youth in this community all look up to Shawn as a powerful contributor and a definite role model.

In receiving the award, Palmer said “The things I’ve done I’ve done quietly.  It was a shock to hear I was nominated for this award. I accept it with gratitude.”

At the awards ceremony, Left to Right: Commissioner Martin, Commissioner Phiel, Shawn Palmer, Michelle Palmer, and Commissioner Qually

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