Meet our 2021 Volunteer Award winners

Meet our 2021 Volunteer Award winners
May 11, 2021
4 MIN. READ
Our teammates remind us that small actions can lead to great impact

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us out of our comfort zones and forced us to adapt to new ways of living. But also allowed us to appreciate the power of resilience and extend a helping hand to those in need. This year’s Volunteer Awards winners are six colleagues who rose above and beyond to demonstrate our values and improve lives in their communities.

Critical medical care and emergency relief

It takes a special dedication to regularly show up during a global pandemic—but that’s exactly what our Endurance Award winner Inoussa Zabsonre, MD, MPH did. A trained medical doctor, he volunteered nearly every week with the Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps, totaling 200+ hours last year. He attended to nearly 600 people through COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, communicating health education, and distributing personal protective equipment.

"Inoussa Zabsonre has been an exemplary volunteer with the Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps. Even hidden behind his mask, Inoussa's smile lights up a room and his willingness to help has made him a model for our other volunteers."

— Alexandria, VA Health Department

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Another Endurance Award winner with 200+ volunteer hours is Derina Man, who supported the Coalition for the Homeless' Grand Central Food Program. She visited vulnerable communities in Upper Manhattan to provide vital resources and information to unhoused people or other at-risk communities. In addition to her hands-on work, she led a virtual fundraiser during the height of the pandemic that raised more than $2,500 for the Coalition and the New York City Emergency Relief Fund.

"It’s hard to overstate the impact that Derina Man has had over the past 5 years. Her consistent dedication, personal generosity, and ability to network and connect those we serve with vital resources have not only been invaluable but have enhanced the services we are able to offer to unsheltered New Yorkers."

— Coalition for the Homeless' Grand Central Food Program

Quick pivot to virtual fundraising

The pandemic threw a curve ball at our Local Hero Award winner Geoff Wilson. He quickly pivoted our companywide annual charity auction to a virtual format. Through his leadership and digital technology expertise, we raised nearly $40,000. But that wasn’t all. Geoff raised an additional $5,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank by incorporating a direct donation option to the auction event.

"In his role as co-chair, Geoff gathered volunteers, managed thousands of details, and took the lead in transforming the auction to a virtual event. His eagerness and excitement about the event boosted team morale and made volunteering with him a pleasure."

— Charity Auction volunteer

Empowerment through a belief in others

Our Platinum Award winner (humanitarian/social focus) Kiana Roberts knows a thing or two about impact. She has served as a volunteer and mentor with the I Believe in Me mentoring and leadership development program since 2018. Last year, she dedicated 15-20 hours each month for group and one-on-one mentoring to girls age 8-18. She also offered communication, reporting, and website support. She even provided college essay guidance to one of her mentees who was later admitted to her top two college choices.

"What I admire most about Kiana is her ability to provide compassion and comfort for the girls she mentors.  Kiana is a great example of what mentorship should look like, and I am proud to have her as a member of Team IBIM!"

— I Believe in Me program

Commitment to clean energy

Steven Clark’s dedication to sustainability and climate activism is unmatched. This Platinum Award winner (sustainability focus) is a volunteer leader for the Sierra Club Ready for 100 and a member of the Delaware County Sustainability Commission. His volunteer efforts have led to a commitment from local municipalities, school districts, and businesses to transition to clean energy sources. He also served on a task force that benchmarked energy and CO2 emissions and developed energy transition plans for 20 Southeastern Pennsylvania municipalities.

"Steve’s commitment to finding energy efficiency opportunities and explaining our options in easy-to-understand language really makes a difference to Delaware County residents and beyond."

— Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Chapter

Boosting the confidence of English speakers

Our Rising Star Award winner (humanitarian/social focus) Kathleen Calcerano has spent five years serving as an English-language instruction volunteer teacher to adult immigrants at the Washington English Center. When classes switched to virtual instruction, Kathleen continued her support. She began tutoring two students online and led a weekly online class for a full semester, volunteering up to six hours weekly. Through this experience, she’s helped new Americans feel more confident in their English skills and less alone during a difficult year.

"Kathleen stands out for her dedication to our students, fellow volunteers, and WEC staff. Her energy, dedication, and kindness are unmatched, and we are incredibly thankful for her volunteer service throughout the years."

— Washington English Center

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