Dr Pamela Ayewoh-Bernard has been given an MBE while pub landlords Nigel and Susan Anstead both received the British Empire Medal.
Dr Bernard, 59, was nominated for the 18 years she has devoted to creating opportunities for young people from the African and Caribbean communities of Bedford.
She also reactivated the Bedford African and Caribbean Forum, a charity which focuses on promoting the social and economic needs of those communities.
Dr Ayewoh-Bernard said when she got the letter announcing the honour, she started crying.
She said: “I was very emotional.
“I gave up my career as a scientist to start working for the forum, and do something for the community.
“I was so happy to be recognised and now I have to really work hard to represent the Africans and Caribbeans of Bedford!
“I will build on this honour and do all the things we want to do.”
She added: “I give thanks to God. He has blessed me.”
Next year, Dr Ayewoh-Bernard hopes to further promote education through the Bernard-Ayewoh Foundation she set up with her late husband, Carl Bernard.
She said she hopes to help more African and Caribbean children achieve good grades at GCSE and A Level in order to go on to university.
Meanwhile, she is also working with 10 senior Africans and Caribbeans living in Bedford to record their life stories to produce a book to be kept in Bedford Library.
Nigel and Susan Anstead are joint landlords of The White Horse pub, in Newnham Avenue.
They have relentlessly raised thousands of pounds for various charities by organising events and quiz nights, accumulating more than more than £189,000 in the past five years.
On receiving the letter informing them they were each nominated for the BEM, Mr Anstead said they were delighted.
He said: “While we got the letter at the end of December, we waited until Christmas Day to tell our five children and 10 grandchildren to give them a lovely surprise.
“We will celebrate 10 years running the pub in January and, like previous years, we will be giving a donation to the Elizabeth Curtis Centre, in Bromham, which teaches riding for the disabled.”
He added: “While we intend to carry on with the fund raising this year, we are planning to retire and are selling the lease to the pub.
“I expect we won’t fully retire though. I can’t imagine us just sitting around!”