As a KidWorks volunteer tutor, you know you’re making a big impact when a sixth grade student can’t wait to rush up to you to show off her report card.
A few weeks ago, that’s exactly what brought a big smile to the face of Camille Strader, our April “Volunteer of the Month.”
“This young lady arrived at the Dan Donahue Center early just so she had time to share her grades with me,” Camille says. “I told her how proud I was of her because I knew she had worked so hard to earn those good marks.”
Encouragement is Camille’s recipe for academic success.
“Another elementary school student and I spent time memorizing multiplication tables for the number three,” Camille recalls. “She stayed with it and now she is well on her way to success with the other numbers, too.”
We are very proud to announce that Camille has been selected as a 2018 “Orange County Spirit of Volunteerism” award winner. She and the other honorees will be recognized at a special luncheon later this month. This prestigious award was established in 1976 and is “the oldest awards program in Orange County recognizing and celebrating major involvement of individual, team and corporate volunteers,” according to the organization.
Betty Garcia, Assistant Program Leader, says, “Camille has made such a positive impact on the lives of our students. She goes out of her way to greet each one personally and to get to know them. There are dozens of student names to remember, and she does!”
“Camille is such a wonderful and giving spirit,” says Melissa Peralta, our Volunteer Resource Manager. “She really shines when she works with our youth. The students recognize her commitment. During her two years as a volunteer, we’ve seen first-hand how she helps our students succeed academically.”
While homework help is where you’ll most often find Camille each Wednesday afternoon, she also makes sure to add variety into the mix for the students she’s with.
“We read, color and play outside,” she says. “I love to hear them say a prayer of thanks to God when they receive their snack. Soon, I hope to help with some workshops as well.”
Camille has been married to her husband, Tim, for 25 years. Their son Timmy, 22, is a senior at Auburn University and Andy, 20, is a sophomore at Boston College.
“I love traveling, cooking, college football, bible study—and of course, the students at KidWorks,” she says.
If you see Camille in our classrooms, please be sure to congratulate her on being named April Volunteer of the Month and for being a “Spirit of Volunteerism” award winner.
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer