Helle: AHS senior helps spread the spirit
Published 11:11 am Friday, January 2, 2015
Vision 2020’s Community Pride and Spirit committee is teaming up with Eastwood Bank of Austin to put out a community service challenge for the year 2015. It’s called ‘Keep the Spirit Alive’ and we are asking everyone in Austin to consider making a commitment of 24 hours of volunteer service to the community in 2015.
You can volunteer anywhere you like, doing any activity that you like. You can work on it 30 minutes a week or plan a blitz weekend. There is no paperwork or registration process—simply a personal commitment to serve the community this year. It’s a way to keep the spirit of the holidays alive.
We’d love to have you share your stories about volunteering, too. You can post to the Vision 2020 site at www.vision2020austin.com/spirit or find us on Facebook at “Spread the Spirit in Austin MN.” Non profits are encouraged to post volunteer opportunities to those sites as well.
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We’ll be highlighting a community volunteer each month in 2015. We’re starting this month with a senior at Austin High School, Andrea Ramirez Hernandez.
Andrea volunteers at the Woodson Kindergarten Center twice a month. She has also worked with the Woodson summer program, vacation bible school and the E3 project.
Andrea got started through her mother, Laura Ramirez, who is a success coach at Woodson. Andrea says her mother knew a lot of opportunities for service because she was involved in the community.
Andrea reports that she “definitely” enjoys volunteering. It has been a way to meet people and learn about Austin. She encourages others to consider volunteer service, saying “While helping others grow, I grow also.”
Woodson Principal Jessica Cabeen said Andrea provides child care each month during evening parent meetings for Spanish-speaking families. She organizes games, crafts and activities for the children—usually about 20 kids. She has made the commitment to consistently volunteer at these sessions so that she can build relationships with the children and families. She also recruits her friends to help out.
Cabeen said, “She is amazing. She is just a gift. You just don’t see kids at this age be that committed to volunteering and supporting kids. She has been doing this for three years. She thinks about others before herself.”
According to Cabeen, Andrea came to volunteer at parent meetings and left with just minutes to spare to make it to the play she performed in at the high school. Cabeen points to that as an example of Andrea’s commitment and responsibility.
Andrea’s service helps the school conserve resources by not having to hire child care staff during the evening meetings. Maybe more importantly, Andrea builds relationships with students and serves as a role model in ways that hired staff could not do.
Congratulations Andrea! We salute your service to the community and wish you every success in the future.
To find out more about Keep the Spirit Alive, go to at www.vision2020austin.com/spirit or find us on Facebook at “Spread the Spirit in Austin MN.”