Neighbors Link honored hundreds of volunteers recently to celebrate their efforts with the presentation of the organization’s 2012 awards.
“We have one life to live, one opportunity to make a difference in this world and the volunteers of Neighbors Link make the most of this opportunity,” said Carola Otero Bracco, executive director of Neighbors Link. “At Neighbors Link, we lead by example. Our volunteers embrace diversity in their lives. Through their work, our mission of integration is achieved.”
Student Volunteer Awards
Perri Sheinbaum of Chappaqua, a senior at Horace Greeley High School, received the Agnes Hassell Youth Leadership Award for her dedication to serving the elementary school children in the organization’s Learning Links after-school program. Sheinbaum first came to Neighbors Link eight years ago with her family and synagogue to serve a Thanksgiving meal to immigrant families. She became involved with Learning Links in her first year of high school, and in her junior and senior years, was appointed a co-president of the Learning Links Club at Greeley.
“I feel so gratified whenever I see them do well and excel,” Sheinbaum said of the children she tutors.
Three Neighbors Link Student Volunteer Awards for “exceptional contribution and dedicated service” were presented to Samantha Auerbach, Rebecca Passman and Divya Talwar, also Horace Greeley High School seniors. All three recipients volunteered at Neighbors Link since their freshman year. As upperclassmen, they served as “executives” for the high school English as a Second Language Tutoring Program. The student ESL tutors also won the Youth Group in Action Volunteer Spirit Award from The Volunteer Center of the United Way for their service.
Adult Volunteer Awards
The Neighbors Link Outstanding Adult Volunteer Award was presented to college student Molly Delaney of Bedford for donating countless hours to Neighbors Link over the past seven years, in programs as diverse as childcare, ESL tutoring, office assistance, event support and creating a video about Learning Links.
“Clients, staff, volunteers and donors are all supportive of one another,” Delaney said. “Everyone fills a different role, and everyone is happy to do their part. There are people you may not know, but when you meet there is a common denominator that bonds you…It is a family with a shared goal, a beautiful mission and an impact that provides essential services for our community.”
Susan O’Brien of Mount Kisco won the Mary Weiss Volunteer Spirit Award for her years of service as an adult volunteer at Neighbors Link. This award’s recipient demonstrates “leadership, compassion and dedication” while impacting multiple programs.
O’Brien has volunteered at Neighbors Link since 2004, when she began tutoring Neighbors Link clients in ESL. In 2005, she developed and launched the first Neighbors Link website, which she has managed through the years. Since last year, she has donated more than 700 hours of her time to work with Neighbors Link staff on the implementation and customization of the Salesforce client database system, making the recording of program metrics and impact measurement possible.
O’Brien also completely revamped Neighbors Link’s web presence this year by launching the organization’s new bilingual website on a Content Management System platform.
In addition, more than 200 volunteers received Certificates of Appreciation for their service to Neighbors Link. The recipients serve in numerous capacities and hail from towns and schools throughout Northern Westchester.
For information on programs and opportunities to volunteer, contact Volunteer Manager Gayle Hudson at 914-666-3410 ext. 16 or e-mail email@example.com.