(from left to right: Angie Merchan, Janathan Ottley, Jennifer Riggie, Matt Vossler, Cody Pedersen, Shannon Van Woerden, & Pam Davis)
Kids Incorporated is extremely proud that our own Volunteer Coordinator was the recipient of the first ever "Excellence in Volunteer Management Leadership Award" at today's Volunteer of the Luncheon. The Award, presented on behalf of Leon County, was given to Matt by Jeri Bush, Division Director, Volunteer Services for Leon County. Matt was honored for his leadership skills in overseeing a volunteer program which included 901 volunteers this past year who provided 30,300+ volunteer hours of service and for training the staff on working with volunteers. He has instilled in the Kids Incorporated staff the possibilities that volunteers can bring to our program and his enthusiasm has been catching! Staff and volunteers alike, find Matt to be a joy to work with and he makes volunteering "fun"!
Thanks so very much to all the volunteers (all 901 volunteers) who have given of their time and service to Kids Incorporated during the past year. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we applaud all those individuals and organizations who have helped us provide quality, comprehensive services to infants, toddlers, and their families, as well as pregnant women in Leon, Madison & Jefferson counties.
Kids Incorporated recognized two outstanding volunteers at today's Tallahassee Democrat's Volunteer of the Year (VOY) luncheon at the University Center Club. Jennifer Riggie and Shannon Van Woerden were nominated in the Education category for their service to Kids Incorporated.
Jennifer volunteered at Budd Bell Early Learning Center, working with teachers on a research project focused on combining research about professional development in early childhood settings and research-based methods for young children's early learning. Jennifer worked with several children one-on-one and made significant progress. When Jiovanni first entered our program he cried non-stop every day from being away from his father, mother and grandmother. He did not interact with the children or the two teachers in his classroom. He rated high on the autism spectrum and had no words to communicate with. His behavior and participation (or lack thereof) was videoed and analyzed. Jennifer worked one on one with him and developed a strategy his teachers could implement on a daily basis and his progress has been outstanding!.
Shannon Van Woerden has served as an Intern in Kids Incorporated's Finance and Community Affairs Departments, enabling her to combine her two majors, Finance and Hospitality, in her volunteer experience. She has assisted with our community outreach events, including all the Downtown Getdowns and others, and has coorindated our Holiday Happiness Project. She has achieved all of this and more while taking a full course load at FSU and working a part-time job. And everything she does, she does with a positive attitude and a smile!
Kids Incorporated also recognized Angie Merchan, our FSU Community Ambassador for this program year and Cody Pederson, who has been a Community Affairs Intern this semester. Also in attendance at today's luncheon was Jonathan Ottley, who has assisted Jennifer Riggie in her project.
We are extremely grateful to all our current and past volunteers who have helped us make a difference! We applaud their service and commitment!