In early summer 2022, Ms. Vanessa Garcia reached out to the Volunteer Supervisor inquiring about volunteer opportunities for herself. Right away this left a positive impression as many young volunteers have their parents or guardians reach out on their behalf.
There was a need for volunteers at the Hayward Area Senior Center after construction was complete and Vanessa had indicated on her application that working with Senior Adults was an interest. After a meeting with Vanessa, it was agreed she would volunteer one afternoon at the Senior Center working at the front desk, greeting customers, answering phones and questions. Vanessa proved to be a reliable and friendly volunteer. Midway through the summer she learned that another volunteer slot became open and she quickly asked if she could fill it, where she was then working 2 afternoons shifts each week. She comes in with confidence, is engaged and knows other volunteers by name. She assisted the Hayward Arts Council volunteer set up artwork and always helps with any tasks requested of her.
Vanessa has also volunteered at the Weekes Branch Library in the Reading Program and the Lunch for Kids program. She volunteered in these programs in her Freshman and Sophomore years. All of this volunteer service comes from her big heart and desire to be involved and help others, not by a mandatory school requirement.
Vanessa returned to school in August and is a senior in High School in Hayward. We didn’t want to see her leave, and she agreed to continue working one afternoon a week at the Senior Center when she is dismissed from school early.
Vanessa will be successful in whatever she pursues, she has proven to be a leader, smart and compassionate. She is well deserving to be recognized as the Summer Youth Volunteer of the Month.