volunteer of the month Archives | UnidosNow

Gabrielle Barroso, Volunteer of the Month

Our volunteer of the month is our scholar Gabrielle Barroso. She is a senior at Sarasota Military Academy and, in addition to her high school diploma, will be receiving her AA degree.

Gabrielle is an exceptional young woman and, as one of our ambassadors, has accompanied our Executive Director Luz Corcuera to community meetings and schools providing inspirational presentations to peers and community partners. She has assisted students in Sarasota and Manatee with FAFSA applications and helps the UnidosNow team with community fairs at schools and in the community.

Gabrielle is the President of the UnidosNow High School Club at Sarasota Military Academy. In addition to her academic load, she holds leadership positions with the JROTC.  She has been accepted into several universities and has decided to join the University of Florida with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon one day.  She is also the recipient of the Comcast Scholarship and just finished serving as a juror for the first time.

We are proud of Gabrielle’s accomplishments and grateful for her volunteer work.

Jonathan Barroso, Volunteer of the Month

Jonathan Barroso, Future Leaders Academy scholar and a sophomore at Sarasota Military Academy, spent his Christmas holidays working at our office. He was of great help, assisting with computer set-up and connecting and testing printers, scanners, and phones. Thanks to Jonathan, UnidosNow has better internet access and connectivity. He also helped the team organize the office and re-arrange furniture.

Furthermore, since the team organized the office and re-arranged furniture while Jonathan was on site, he helped with this task as well.

Jonathan has already taken on several leadership roles at UnidosNow, and regularly gives back to the community. Thank you, Jonathan, for your invaluable help!

Daniel Paredes, Volunteer of the Month

_i5a3063

We couldn’t be more proud of Daniel, a Future Leaders Academy scholar. As a high school junior, not only is he a stellar student, with a WGPA of 4.4 at Pine View High, but he is a community leader-in-the-making and our volunteer of the month.

Daniel directed and produced the compelling UnidosNow video for our 2016 Giving Challenge campaign, which we entered into the Best Video Contest. He is also developing the design for our organizational brochure.

Daniel, originally from Peru, will be the first in his family to go to college. He has a love of engineering, which was fostered by his father encouraging him to fix things around the house. He’s planning to study engineering at one of the universities where he’ll be applying, including Purdue University Calumet, Syracuse University, and Stanford.

Daniel also happens to love soccer and started an after-school soccer club at Pine View. We know he will go on to great things in the near future! But in the meantime, we’re lucky to have him sharing his brilliant talents with UnidosNow and his community!

Jo-Ann Hillman, Volunteer of the Month

Jo-Ann_Hillman

As a new volunteer to the Future Leaders Academy this summer, Jo-Ann, a retired teacher, helped us achieve a new goal for the program; she developed and implemented a two-week ACT lab to help students bring up their ACT scores.

Not only did she create this new component for our curriculum, Ms. H. – as the students call Jo-Ann – also raised the money for the materials, reaching out to the William Stark Jones Foundation and the Moose Lodge, which generously supported the lab.

Jo-Ann’s passion for helping talented students succeed in their pursuit of getting into selective colleges is inspiring! She brought her positive energy and creativity to the FLA and did wonders to boost the confidence of our scholars, who loved her teaching style.

We cannot thank her – and the organizations that supported her important work – enough; we are truly grateful!

Jo-Ann_Hillman_5 Jo-Ann_Hillman_6

Jo-Ann_Hillman_7 Jo-Ann_Hillman_8

Volunteer of the Month, Joe Carfora

Joe_Carfora_Mentee

Congratulate our volunteer of the month, Joe Carfora! Joe has a passion for mentoring students of all ages and providing them with the guidance needed to be successful in life. Prior to coming to Florida a couple of years ago, Joe helped elementary and middle school students with math and reading needs and provided general advice to them regarding the sports they played and how to set goals. But his real passion was to work with high school students, and we are fortunate at UnidosNow that he found us before another organization could grab him.

Last year Joe volunteered to mentor one of our students and also assisted us by reviewing several student essays before they were submitted with college applications. This summer Joe has agreed to mentor three students and, as usual, is putting his whole heart into it. He has an amazing way of connecting with teenagers and understands how challenging it can be to interact with students at this age. Joe doesn’t use a cookie cutter approach to mentoring. He takes the time to understand each student’s personal story and aspirations, and then seeks to guide them on their unique path to success.

Joe goes the extra mile with his students, whether it’s conducting his own research to familiarize himself with colleges that might offer a student’s major, or meeting with a student’s guidance counselor since the student’s parents were unable to speak English, or taking the time to meet and encourage parents who so badly want their children to get ahead.

We pride ourselves at UnidosNow for seeking out students with grit, students with the perseverance needed to overcome the many obstacles they face in high school, and will continue to face in college and beyond. Joe understands that mentors have to be equally gritty because mentoring is not easy. He also understands that getting into college and eventually graduating takes more than strong academics –it takes life skills that are not normally taught in our schools. And here is where Joe excels, as he has lived a full and successful life, and has so much wisdom to share. Joe arrived in our region to retire after spending over 4o successful years in the plastics industry. But anyone who knows Joe understands that retirement is not part of his make-up. He is still an active board member in his chosen industry, and has played a leadership role in his community, Lakewood Ranch. Also, he is a proud alum of Rutgers University and often represents the school at college fairs.

Joe is a dedicated husband and a proud father and grandfather. We are so grateful to have him as a member of our team, and are equally grateful to his wife Sharon for supporting Joe as he pursues his passion for giving back to the community.

June’s Volunteer of the Month: Evelyn Tejeda

Evelyn_Tejeda

Congratulate our volunteer of the month Evelyn Tejeda! Evelyn mentors our students, helps with UnidosNow events, and believes in education. No task is too small or too big for our passionate volunteer of the month. . She likes to give back to the community and is mentoring three of our Rising Junior scholars in the Future Leaders Summer Academy.

Evelyn, who is, herself, a first-generation college grad, grew up in Brooklyn and became a physical therapist (PT). She worked very hard to support her spouse, Hector Tejeda, while he was working on his MBA at Harvard. They have two sons, who are very successful young men, thanks in large part to Evelyn’s and Hector’s instilling in them the value of education and supporting their pursuit of higher education.

In her role as a PT, Evelyn’s passion has been to work with the senior population, ensuring that they get the best care and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

Evelyn brings humility, love and confidence to her volunteer work. The scholars she is working with will not only have a great mentor who will help them achieve their goals, but also a role model who embodies what community service is all about.

We are grateful and fortunate to have Evelyn by our side.

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.