Editor’s note: We’re delighted to present the third installment in our latest blog series, Giving Thanks. As everyone prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we feel this is the perfect time to invite KidWorks’ friends and families to share a little about what they are most thankful for. Look for another installment next week!
Karen Gallardo-Cano knows exactly the blessings she’s thankful for this holiday season. In fact, they number in the dozens. No, they are not material goods. This high school sophomore and KidWorks student is most thankful for the many KidWorks staff members, volunteers and fellow students who have positively impacted her life.
“I am so grateful to everyone who is in my life because of KidWorks,” she says. “The staff and volunteers always push me to go the extra mile. They sit by my side and let me know that I matter.”
Karen takes her appreciation for others and applies it to her leadership position as president of Community Leaders of Santa Ana (CLOSA), our youth-led organization that helps improve the surrounding neighborhood with cleanup, sponsored events and other activities.
Like a good leader, she is quick to say “thanks” to her team, including Maria Contreras, vice president, Nancy Cervantes, secretary and all the CLOSA membership.
“They are amazing,” Karen says.
Karen is also thankful for each of the 24 hours in a day. Without a doubt, she fits all she can into her waking hours. Karen is a member of the green environmental club at Valley High School and serves as Associated Student Body Vice President for the class of 2019.
And did we mention that she also makes time to play on the school’s varsity and junior varsity water polo teams?
Speaking of giving thanks, we are so grateful to Karen for being a KidWorks student for 11 years, and for the time she spends as a volunteer helping other children and youth.
Now, if someone could just invent the 30-hour day, Karen would find a meaningful way to fill that time, too!
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer