Schools across the district are honoring individual mentors and tutors, faith-based partners, businesses and nonprofits for making a difference in the lives of students at the campus level. The team in Volunteer and Partnership Services selected the 2019-2020 honorees from among dozens nominated by their partner schools in the following categories in recognition of their generosity and service to individual campuses.
Dr. Anastasia Bobilev, selected as Volunteer of the Year for Student Support, was nominated by Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in recognition of her service as a mentor to who provided Rangel’s first-generation college students with hours of guidance, reassurance and networking connections. Dr. Bobilev is credited by the Rangel staff with tapping into her professional network of scientists and health care providers at UT Southwestern to organize speaker series and panel discussions to expose students with career information, mentoring, internship and shadowing opportunities.
Martha Romero was named Volunteer of the Year for Classroom Support. Nominated for service to Walnut Hill Elementary School, she is viewed as an all-around support figure on campus. From helping to decorate hallways and classrooms to greeting students in the morning drop-off line to acting as a go-between for Spanish and English-speaking volunteers. Accumulating more than 200 hours of volunteer service in 2019-2020, supporters say Ms. Romero with impacting student achievement by supporting and collaborating with all school staff and creating a world-class welcoming environment.
Cheniqua Alanis, nominated by N.W. Harllee Early Childhood Center, is the Volunteer of the Year for School Support. Ms. Alanis has served as a reliable and consistent library volunteer at Harllee, organizing and running the bookfair and promoting literacy activities, delivering snacks to staff and faculty and helping in classrooms, distributing flyers and performing other tasks as needed. She began helping out the PTA in an informal capacity which led to her current role as PTA vice president.
The Outstanding Business Partner, Taylor Farms, was nominated by Eladio Martinez Learning Center in honor of the company’s generous contributions of more than $24,000 to purchase books, pay for field trips and support a variety of campus projects. A campus supporter for 10 years, company executive Ralph Ynostrosa and Taylor Farm’s employees volunteered for classroom read-alouds and served as role models at the school’s annual college and career fair, helping to motivate students to practice good character.
For generous service to the students at Hector P. Garcia Elementary, the Outstanding Nonprofit Partner Award winner is the Hector P. Garcia PTO. Led by members Maria Robledo and Juana Barajas, the PTO contributed $1,000 and 647 volunteer hours in support of the school in the 2019-2020 school year. During the pandemic, the PTO went the extra mile to support school families in need, purchasing grocery store gift cards and diapers and delivering donated food to families who lacked transportation, helping to increase the morale of students and staff.
Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church is winner of the Outstanding Faith-Based Partner award for a decade of service to Lee A. McShan Jr. Elementary. Not only did the church contribute $53,000 to the school in the 2019-2020 school year; its members spent more than 30,000 hours supporting the McShan Reading Homeroom, helping the school’s immigrant students increase their understanding of English, improving their self-confidence and self-esteem along the way.
Parkland Hospital was honored as the Outstanding Campus P-TECH Industry Partner for its support to students at L.G. Pinkston H-TECH Early College High School. Since 2017, Parkland has engaged Pinkston Health Science students in experiences that prepare them to make informed career choices about entering the healthcare industry. Hospital and clinic tours, guest speakers, a parent orientation, summer internships and patient care assistant training are just some of the ways Parkland helps groom Pinkston students for successful careers as leaders in healthcare.