On Saturday, March 13th, at the closing session of the Statewide Service-Learning Conference, Chaminade’s Tanya Alvino was announced as a recipient of the 2010 Community Impact Student Award. Professor Richard Kido nominated Tanya for the honor.
In his words,
“Tanya was a participant in two of Chaminade’s Nationally Recognized Service-Learning Project this current academic year – The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project and the FAFSA Assistance Project. Tanya was not only very active in both projects, she has demonstrated the leadership abilities she displays as the Chaminade Women’s Volleyball Team Captain. Largely through her efforts, all of her classmates fully embraced the project, participated enthusiastically, and actually “got it” as to why they are doing the projects. Tanya fully took charge of the group, both during the initial planning stages or both projects, and during the field execution. As is her style, she didn’t lead in a “bossy” or overtly demanding way, but lead by example and with understated suggestions and advice rather than commands.
“The FAFSA Assistance Project assisted students and their families from Kaimuki High School with the preparation of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. That form is the basis for all financial aid at U. S. colleges and universities. Kaimuki High School has a significant population of immigrant and first-generation families who do not possess the ability to understand and complete the form on their own. Our students assist them with preparation of the form and the online submission. This year’s group, lead by Tanya, not only fulfilled that mission well, they expanded the scope of the project while in the field. In addition, the group developed an informal process of talking to the high school students about their college choices and “talking story” with them about college and expectations.
“The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project involves assisting low-income persons, primarily the working homeless, with the preparation of income tax returns. The project involves the students going to homeless shelters, transitional housing, and community assistance sites to provide this service. Tanya effectively organized groups of students to man these sites and assisted with the staffing for the project.”
The Community Impact Student Award is the only one of its kind, with an international eligibility that spans the entire Pacific region. It is fittingly bestowed upon Tanya, because she most definitely makes a unique and sustainable impact on the community. We are proud that she will next represent Chaminade’s service-learning efforts in the national competition for the Howard J. Swearer Award. Thanks and kudos to the faculty, students, and community organizers that support our service-learning initiatives.