– High School ESL Tutors To Receive ‘Volunteer Spirit Award’ at April 20 Ceremony –
The 2012 Volunteer Spirit Awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Hilton Rye Town on Friday, April 20, 2012 from 8-10am CBS 2 Broadcast journalist Lou Young will emcee the event. The Volunteer Center of United Way presents the awards during National Volunteer Week to honor winners in eight categories and give special recognition to “the amazing impact of volunteers on non-profits in our communities.”
The Volunteer Center of United Way has announced that Neighbors Link High School Volunteer ESL (English as a Second Language) Tutors have won the 2012 Volunteer Spirit Award in the New York Life “Youth Group in Action” category. Some 30 students participate each week in the Neighbors Link program and hail from numerous area high schools including Blind Brook High School (Rye Brook NY), Byram Hills High School (Armonk NY), Fox Lane High School (Bedford NY), Hackley School (Tarrytown NY), Horace Greeley High School (Chappaqua NY), John Jay High School (Katonah NY) and Yorktown High School (Yorktown NY).
The Neighbors Link High School Volunteer ESL Tutors program was launched in 2001 by students in Greeley High School’s SHARE (Students Have A Responsibility Everywhere) Club as its Casa de Lengua program. Five Student Executives from Greeley run the program with supervision from Neighbors Link adult volunteers Sarita Roy and Mary Weiss. The Student Executives for 2012 include Samantha Auerbach, Cara Goldfarb, Zak Krooks, Rebecca Passman and Divya Talwar.
“It is a privilege and an honor to work with volunteers who support new immigrants as they seek to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Carola Bracco, Executive Director of Neighbors Link. “We are so grateful to these remarkable high school students for their commitment to our mission of integration, their understanding of the challenges faced by English language learners and for their extraordinary energy and contribution.”
“It is inspiring to watch teenagers work with immigrant adults to practice English while simultaneously learning about one another’s lives and cultures,” she added. “That is how integration is achieved.”
Neighbors Link student volunteers participate in a number of programs, including ESL tutoring, the “Learning Links” after-school program, the “Summer Links” program for elementary school children and the Children’s Evening Program.
For information on volunteering at Neighbors Link, contact Gayle Hudson, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 666-3410 ext. 16.
“We applaud the invaluable contributions of all volunteers who affect change in our neighborhoods,” said Alisa Kesten, Executive Director of The Volunteer Center. “The Volunteer Spirit Awards celebrate the ways volunteers use professional skills, talents and enthusiasm to give back 365 days a year.”
The eight 2012 Volunteer Spirit Award winners, selected by a panel of judges, are:
- Arts & Culture: Judith Weber of New Rochelle for New Rochelle Council on the Arts
- Education & Literacy: Nicole Sheindlin of Larchmont for Her Honor Mentoring
- Going Green: Peter McCartt, of Eastchester, for Eastchester Environmental Committee
- Health & Safety: Cynthia Odell, of Bronxville, at Afya Foundation
- Quality of Life: Louis Thomason of Chappaqua, at Richmond Community Services
- Social Advocacy: Pat Rosafort of Mt. Kisco, at Hope’s Door
- New York Life Youth Group: Neighbors Link High School Volunteer ESL Tutors
- New York Life Youth Leader: Jake Gallin of New Rochelle for Stars for Cars
The Volunteer Spirit Awards are made possible through the generosity of The Volunteer Center’s 2012 Corporate Champions including New York Life, TD Charitable Foundation, Pepsi Beverages Company, Belmay, Bunge, IBM, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Robison Oil, Con Edison, The Dannon Company, M&T Bank, Rollins Insurance Company, Chubb, Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., RPW Group, CBRE, and The Westchester Bank. Additional support is provided through a strategic partnership with United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
Neighbors Link (www.neighborslink.org) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community center with a mission to strengthen the whole community through the healthy integration of immigrants. The Neighbors Link strategy is to Educate, Empower, and Employ immigrant families and individuals whose lives have been economically impoverished and educationally deprived. Neighbors Link is now recognized as a national model for addressing the realities of immigration in peaceful and positive ways. Since 2001, our organization has worked to build bridges and utilize community partnerships to provide immigrant families with the tools they need to fully participate in our shared community. Neighbors Link is located at 27 Columbus Avenue in Mount Kisco NY.
The Volunteer Center of United Way
The Volunteer Center is a one-stop resource for all things volunteer. For over 60 years, the organization has encouraged adults to serve, youth to build character, families to bond, young professionals to excel as leaders, mature adults to stay engaged and businesses to address community needs. Through their online database at www.volunteer-center.org, they match volunteers to meaningful opportunities. Recently designated by New York State as one of 10 regional centers, The Volunteer Center will expand beyond Westchester and Putnam to elevate the impact of volunteerism in the Mid-Hudson Valley area.