DENVER – July 23, 2013 – Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office today recognized a dozen individuals, organizations and businesses that have volunteered and served Colorado and its communities at the 2013 Governor’s Service Awards ceremony. The Governor’s Service Awards are presented in recognition and appreciation to individuals, community/civic leaders, various organizations, and Senior Corps for their outstanding contribution to volunteerism and service throughout Colorado.
“These winners represent what helps make Colorado great,” Hickenlooper said. “Each and every award winner demonstrates a deep dedication to service and bettering local communities across the state. We are grateful for their efforts.”
The Governor’s Service Awards are presented by Serve Colorado, formerly the Governor’s Commission on Community Service. Serve Colorado was established to promote community service throughout the state and to build a culture of citizenship, service and individual responsibility. The Governor’s Service Awards are designed to acknowledge individuals and organizations who embody these ideals of community service. Colorado governors, current and past, recognize the importance of community involvement and for the past 17 years have honored volunteers who have given so much to our state and local communities through these annual awards.
The 2013 Governor’s Service Award recipients:
Outstanding Volunteer: Steve Austin, an 87-year-old volunteer leader with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. He has contributed countless hours to help build and maintain Colorado’s trail system, allowing residents and visitors alike to enjoy the state’s vast wilderness and open spaces.
Outstanding Youth Volunteer: Chau Nguyen, a new Vietnamese immigrant who has embraced Colorado as his home. A student at New America High School in Lowry, Chau is has led the Service Club and recruited classmates to attend service events. He also volunteers at the Colfax Community Network, helping other kids with homework and other after-school activities.
Outstanding Veteran Volunteer: Jared King, a veteran who has helped hundreds of fellow veterans train and find employment in Colorado’s green building industry. Through his work with Veterans Green Jobs, Jared has personally connected with more than 400 Colorado veterans and more than 5,000 veterans across the U.S.
Outstanding Community Leader: Diana Flahive, a volunteer in Denver at the Women's Homelessness Initiative and Capitol Hill United Ministries helping to transform her local community.
Outstanding Non-Profit Organization: Senior Resource Services, Greeley, is a non-profit that has served the elderly in Weld County for the past six years. Currently, 193 volunteers are now serving 441 seniors over the age of 60 in Weld County.
Outstanding Large Business: Comcast, Denver, Comcast Cares Day, Comcast's annual volunteer day is a great example of Comcast's commitment to serving Colorado. More than 6,000 local Comcast employees and their families and friends volunteered more than 38,000 hours of their time to benefit 27 Colorado non-profits.
Outstanding AmeriCorps State/National Member: Jessica Nelson, a City Year member in her second year of service with AmeriCorps has mentored 9th graders to improve literacy skills. She consistently finds ways to put her students first and engage other groups and community members.
Outstanding AmeriCorps VISTA Member: Peter Lagario, a Conservation Outreach Assistant for Veterans Green Jobs is responsible for connecting with veterans who are interested in career opportunities in the conversation and land management industries.
Outstanding AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps): Carol Schneider, AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Campus, Denver, is serving her second year as a Team Leader with the NCCC Southwest Campus and is known to have a strikingly positive, can-do attitude.
Outstanding Senior Corps Volunteer: Steve Vallee, a RSVP Senior Corps Member, Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, Fort Collins, has served over 200 hours with Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County as a presenter, community liaison and campaign advocate.
Outstanding AmeriCorps Alumni: Mary Jo Rakowski is a pioneer member at the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Program's first year as an AmeriCorps*State program. She provides low-cost training to nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the awards ceremony, Serve Colorado hosts volunteer days of service, national service initiatives and community partnerships to help promote community involvement. To coincide with the awards ceremony, Serve Colorado is sponsoring Colorado Cares Day on Saturday, July 27. Colorado Cares Day is a great way for people across the state to volunteer and give back to strengthen Colorado communities.
About Serve Colorado
Serve Colorado strives to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in Colorado. Serve Colorado operates under the leadership of a board of 16 Commissioners to distribute and administer Colorado’s allocation of AmeriCorps*State funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). For more information about Serve Colorado or the Governor’s Service Awards, visit www.colorado.gov/ServeColorado.