April 14, 2023
Program Enrichment Awards Recognize Boulder County Volunteers During National Volunteer Week
$6,300 total awarded to seven Boulder County volunteer programs
Boulder County, Colo. – In celebration of National Volunteer Week in 2023 (April 16-22), Program Enrichment Awards recognized seven volunteers who made noteworthy contributions to their programs in 2022. Volunteer managers countywide were invited to nominate volunteers. A selection committee chose the following volunteers to be recognized and awarded $900 in funding for their programs.
- Charles Bailey: Community Services Department – Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Charles has been volunteering for the Medicare counseling program on a weekly basis for seven years with the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging. He commits to regular weekly counseling sessions with older adults and attends the required State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) trainings each year. Charles’s role as a Medicare counselor involves helping people understand their options for Medicare coverage, enroll into the coverage of their choice, and navigate the sometimes-long appeal process when Medicare benefits have been denied.
- Kady Haisley: District Attorney’s Office – Center for Prevention and Restorative Justice. Kady has been volunteering as a restorative justice facilitator as a community member, trainer, and trusted co-facilitator for new facilitators since 2019 with the District Attorney’s Office. She has been a huge part of building the volunteer program through her feedback, support, and consistent presence in the work that supports meaningful accountability and repair of harm after a crime has occurred. Kady helps responsible parties understand the impact of their actions on the greater community and supports victims to get their needs met and voices heard through this process by guiding the parties in creating an agreement for steps the offender will take to repair harm.
- Kendra McConnell: Parks and Open Space/CSU Extension – 4-H Horse Judging Team. Kendra has been a dedicated coach and volunteer leader for the 4-H horse program for the past 14 years where she supports 4-H youth weekly throughout the year to teach equine knowledge and engage in positive youth development. Kendra has led the team to countless state and national titles, and consistently supports team members in learning to evaluate horse conformation and performance while developing skills such as critical thinking, public speaking, and team building. Kendra helped lead a strategic planning session and survey with 4-H program members and council to lead the upward movements of the organization after COVID times the past year, ensuring a positive direction for the program.
- Susan McEachern: Parks and Open Space – Naturalist Program. Susan began volunteering in 2022 after completing a 10-week training to become a volunteer naturalist. In her role, she shares natural history of Boulder County with people of all ages on behalf of Boulder County Parks and Open Space by leading themed hikes, educational talks, and interactive programs relating to parks and open space lands. Susan has led various hikes and activities for older adults, educational programs for school-aged children, and has been instrumental in providing feedback on the evolving process implemented to improve programming and volunteer satisfaction of the department’s volunteer corps.
- Steve Patterson: Parks & Open Space Department –Ranger Corps. Steve has been volunteering with the Volunteer Ranger Corps since 2008, spending time on the trails collecting field data and providing park visitors with information about a park’s natural and cultural history, current resource management issues, local recreation information, and rules and regulations. He also trains, leads, and assists staff with community education and outreach as a volunteer ranger. Together with his horse, Steve answers questions about horses and discusses cowboys historically at the Walker Ranch Homestead during Heritage Day programs. He was also a part of the first class of Bark Rangers, hitting the trails with his dog after completing training in 2018 to teach other dog owners about dog etiquette and safety on the trails.
- Thomas ‘Tom’ Thorpe: Sheriff’s Office – Restorative Justice Program. Tom has served as a volunteer community group conference facilitator with the Restorative Justice Program with the Sheriff’s Office since 2015, a program that accepts referrals from law enforcement personnel who identify responsible parties who have committed crimes and are willing to take responsibility for actions to divert out of the criminal justice system. Tom teams up with a co-facilitator to meet with involved parties, preparing them to identify harms caused, how harms may be repaired, and how the responsible party will accept responsibility for their actions. Tom successfully co-facilitates group conference and assists the group in establishing reasonable and understandable contract items and is committed to restoring harms to victims by giving them a voice to reduce recidivism.
- Summer Youngs: Community Services Department – Workforce Boulder County (WfBC). Summer has been volunteering for over 20 years as a community learning and empowerment/homebuyer education program volunteer where she applies her knowledge of the real estate industry in Boulder County to class participants. She presents for an hour or more on Saturdays and weeknights to ensure homebuyers understand everything about Boulder County’s local market, advocating for themselves in the homebuying process and pursuing success in plans for a home purchase. Summer helps administer the homebuying program classes with her integrity and in highlighting the incredible need for affordable homeownership opportunities for participants so that they are more prepared.
The Boulder County Commissioners have proclaimed April 16-22 2023 as National Volunteer Week in Boulder County to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by volunteers in Boulder County government and in non-profit organizations. Read the proclamation here.
For more information about Boulder County’s Volunteer program, please visit www.BoulderCountyVolunteers.org. Boulder County government has a range of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities.