News Archive

April 22, 2024

Program Enrichment Awards Recognize Boulder County Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

$6,000 total awarded to six Boulder County volunteer programs

Boulder, Colo. - In celebration of National Volunteer Week in 2024 from April 21-27, Program Enrichment Awards recognized two individuals and four volunteer teams who made noteworthy contributions to their programs in 2023. Volunteer managers countywide were invited to nominate volunteers for this annual enrichment award program. A selection committee chose the following volunteers to be recognized and awarded $1,000 in funding for their programs.

  1. Jenn Ochs: Mobility for All Ambassador (M4A) – Community Planning and Permitting/Transportation Planning. Jenn is a volunteer ambassador with the Mobility for All program. She teaches people with mobility barriers how to use smartphone apps like Lyft, Uber Ride, Google Maps, RTD and transit. Jenn is an outspoken advocate for people with disabilities, always ready to engage in M4A workshops, meetings and events, onboard new ambassadors, and highlight opportunities for change, such as identifying missing cut curbs at intersections. During 2023, Jenn volunteered a total of 1,425 hours and supported 25 people, while attending to her duties as Miss Wheelchair Colorado 2023!
  2. Patty Rhodes: Colorado Master Gardener – Parks and Open Space / CSU Extension. As a master gardener, Patty educates the public on home horticulture issues. From behind the scenes help in the office and public education events, to working in the Food Pantry Garden, everything she tackles is done with grace and a positive attitude. Patty logged 343 hours of volunteer time for the 2023 season, while the required amount is 24!
  3. Megan Burton, Debra Summers, Natalie Clarke: Victims Assistance Program – Sheriff’s Office. Lead volunteer victim advocates have three or more years of experience as volunteer victim advocates, and extensive training around the Victim Rights Act and trauma informed services for both adult and child victims. These three team members covered direct supervision duties for volunteer victim advocates who were paged out to crime scenes - answering questions and providing on-scene support and mentorship. In addition to their own volunteer advocate shifts, during the months of June through October of 2023, these three covered 826 additional supervision hours! Their work ensured that the crime victims and our community members who experienced significant traumatic life events received the support and resources they needed.
  1. Sharla Benjamin, Renee Depew, Greg White, Maya Rudd, Sarah Gjestvang, Steven Tarr, Jennifer Bell, Christopher Smith: Robotics Mentors at Casa de la Esperanza – Housing and Human Services. This dedicated group of volunteers provided support and mentorship for the youth engaged in Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center’s Robotics program. They shared their diverse mechanical, engineering, technical and other skills to help the students build their robots and prepare for a competition. These volunteers served as passionate and inspiring role models, making a particularly positive impact on our underrepresented youth. Their leadership nurtured a sense of enthusiasm and curiosity, and instilled confidence in these aspiring STEM youth.
  2. Matt Henderson, Joanne Ashmun, Charles Bailey, Donna Braun, Prudence Carter, Kevin Cummings, Trish Devlin, Bob Jamieson, Gerra Lewis, Claudia Romans, Jan Sdao: Medicare Counseling Program – Community Services, Area Agency on Aging. These Boulder County volunteers are SHIP (State Health Insurance Program) Medicare counselors who provide nonbiased education and information to Medicare eligibles to help them with their billing issues and appeals claims. These volunteers continually train to stay current with not only Medicare rules and regulations, but also in Medicaid, so they can help clients understand their benefits and coverage and how the two programs fit together. Volunteers attend trainings on a wide variety of topics including Medicaid, brain injury, hospice, fraud prevention, home health, skilled nursing, etc. They work February through December each year in support of Medicare beneficiaries and their families. In 2023, the program recorded 1,303 volunteer hours! During the Medicare Open Enrollment season, these amazing volunteers had 891 service hours with 892 contacts.
  3. Aaron Richmond and John Herring: 4-H Youth Development Program – Parks and Open Space / CSU Extension 4-H. These Livestock Sale volunteers enhance the Livestock Sale Committee’s efforts and contribute to the overall success and enrichment of the program. Aaron and John engage with local businesses to secure monetary donations, foster connections within the community, and provide valuable mentorship. Their engagement with youth participants instills important values such as responsibility, teamwork, and community engagement. The contributions of these key leaders extend beyond the livestock sale, impacting the broader 4-H community and reinforcing the program's mission to empower youth through hands-on learning and leadership development.

For more information about Boulder County’s Volunteer program, please visit Boulder County government has a range of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities.

Boulder County’s Volunteer Initiatives and the annual Program Enrichment Awards is managed by the Boulder County Community Services Department.