With three of her six children currently learning how to play a musical instrument, Karina Torres knows the importance of perseverance and determination.
She puts that philosophy to work at KidWorks, where this mom has volunteered for over seven years.
“Like with a musical piece, a plan is only successful if it is well thought out and you work really hard to make it the best it can be,” Karina says. Then she smiles and adds, “I don’t like to just sit around, and if something needs to get done, I don’t need to be asked; I jump in!”
Sonia Rios-Guzman, our Parent Engagement Coordinator, says Karina is definitely a woman of action.
“Even though it might seem like Karina’s plate is full with six children, she still manages to volunteer and support KidWorks in so many ways,” Sonia says. “And she does all of this while fully supporting her children in their educations.”
One of the ways Karina helps KidWorks is with our “Love & Music” program for aspiring musicians. Karina is proud that three of her children are in the program: Evelyn, 13, and Ashley, eight, who are both learning the violin and Jesse, 10, who is mastering the flute.
Karina volunteers in many other ways at KidWorks. She is part of our Parent Advisory Council, has helped with neighborhood clean up days and both our Myrtle and Townsend Street Resource fairs. For the most recent Myrtle Street Fair, she helped make over 150 ham and cheese sandwiches that were given out for free to those from the surrounding neighborhoods who attended.
Karina enrolled her daughter, Evelyn, in our after school programs six years ago when Evelyn was still in elementary school.
“KidWorks is not like other after-school programs, I see it as the best of all,” Karina says. Then she adds with a grin, “On the very first day Evelyn started at KidWorks, I told her, ‘Get used to it. You are going to be there until you graduate from high school."
Recently, her 10-year-old Jesse gratefully told her, “Mom, you are always around for us.”
“Kids don’t always say it out loud, but it was his way of saying ‘thank you’,” Karina says.
Karina, we also can’t say “thank you” enough for all you do for our students and the community!
By Glenn Leibowtiz, Volunteer Content Writer