April 2018 Volunteers of the Month

Every month we have featured a Volunteer of the Month that provides exemplary service to his/her community on our blog. Volunteers are nominated by agencies or community groups and we share their stories and hope that they will inspire others to get involved in their own community. This month we would like to recognize our 11 outstanding high school interns and honor the work they do for Volunteer Square and in their communities. 

Currently, Volunteer Square has 11 high school interns from 6 Connecticut towns. Jack Briggs is from Darien, Lizet Garcia, Madison Horowitz, Nerijia Pierre-Paul, and Alex Molina are from Stamford. Reva Kale and Emma McKinney are from Westport. Regina Misercola and Claudia Zhang are from Trumbull and Rohit Sureshanand is from Monroe. Together these 11 talented high school students represent Volunteer Square in their hometowns and surrounding towns by each managing a page in our Town News Section of our website. In addition, they recruit members of their peer group to get involved and volunteer, they speak about their own volunteer projects at club meetings in their respective schools, and they encourage their family members to participate as well. Over the last few months, these 11 interns have changed the structure of the internship by adding community events, planned and organized solely by each one of them. This was an idea that excited me as soon as it was suggested and it was exactly what I hoped for this program, that it would evolve into more of an intern run program. 

We meet once a month as a group to discuss the management of their pages, ideas, and plans for upcoming community events and brainstorm new ways to help out in the community and inspire others to get involved as well. Their ideas, enthusiasm, and drive to make the world a better place, starting with where they live, is infectious and I always leave each meeting feeling proud to work with such a talented group of young people.

Their impact on Volunteer Square as a company is greater than I think they realize. As a small company, with only one full-time staff person and small, but active, board and advisory board, the interns are a crucial part of the success of Volunteer Square and we've seen the evidence with the increase in our volunteer base and social media following. 

Last weekend we saw the success in person as the interns hosted their first community event, a park clean-up of Veteran's Park in Norwalk in honor of Earth Day. They created a flyer, sent invites, encouraged their school administration to invite students to attend and we had 27 high school students spend 3 hours cleaning the waterfront at the park and having a wonderful time doing it!

I'm amazed at the impact these young people have had, not only on Volunteer Square but also with the other organizations they volunteer for. Their dedication to learning, making a difference and inspiring others is truly incredible. On behalf of Volunteer Square, we congratulate them and can't wait to see what they do next!