Serving with a purpose

Pictured from left are Career Development Services System Counselor Roderick Farmer; student Shawn Townsend; Business and Community Liaison John Mastroianni; Facility Maintenance Instructor Sean Kelly; and students Autumn Morgan, Kohn Keltner, Yafet Degefu and Antonio Logan. All were recognized for their community service when they received the Volunteer Group of the Year award from the United Way of Central Virginia, bringing to light their passion for service.

Pictured from left are Career Development Services System Counselor Roderick Farmer; student Shawn Townsend; Business and Community Liaison John Mastroianni; Facility Maintenance Instructor Sean Kelly; and students Autumn Morgan, Kohn Keltner, Yafet Degefu and Antonio Logan. All were recognized for their community service when they received the Volunteer Group of the Year award from the United Way of Central Virginia, bringing to light their passion for service.

MONROE, VA (June 23, 2014) — The power of giving and the art of service should never be underestimated. Both have a tremendous impact on the community and the lives of those serving. Staying true to this philosophy, the youth at Old Dominion Job Corps Center recently gained state-wide recognition for their dedication and hard work volunteering in their community.

Each year, the United Way of Central Virginia gives out the Volunteer Group of the Year Award to a group that demonstrates a unique passion for giving back to the community. President and CEO of United Way Marie Martin identified the desire to give within the Old Dominion Job Corps students as the trait that made them stand out as a recipient.

Known for their willingness to serve others, students at the center have donated hundreds of hours painting, doing yard work, dividing food for food drives and helping move furniture. The youth have made a name for themselves with agencies throughout the region like Amherst Parks and Recreation, Gleaning for the World, Salvation Army, Daily Bread, United Way of Central Virginia, Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society.

“They show up to help us when needed and never hesitate to pitch in and get the job done,” Ms. Martin said. “That is why I felt this year they should be recognized for all their wonderful work.”

Old Dominion Job Corps Center Business and Community Liaison John Mastroianni knows that the professional training that Job Corps centers offer their students directly contributes to their willingness to give back.

“Job Corps is preparing our students to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society,” Mr. Mastroianni said. “In addition to academic education, technical skills training and work-readiness skills, we want our students to graduate with a deep appreciation for giving back to their own communities.”

Since receiving the award, students quickly moved on to their next project in the community. Fifteen students volunteered to provide a fresh coat of paint for the United Way offices in Lynchburg, further solidifying their reputation as those who are willing to serve others.

Mr. Mastroianni considers it an honor to be affiliated with such an amazing group of young people.

“I am so lucky to have the opportunity to be associated with Job Corps and more importantly our great students,” Mr. Mastroianni said. “When receiving the award, I told the audience that this is not for me but for the students, asking them to stand for recognition.”

Author: Ryan Marchand