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Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011

Students with global thinking
Receive Offers by voluntary activities
by Yolanda Arenales/LA Opinion

2011-02-18 | La Opinión (Spanish version)

Marcos talks about Trinity Tree People
the activities of his group to the students.

More than 250 students from Banning High School in Wilmington, participated yesterday in a Community

Service expo, held at their school, to find opportunities to volunteer. 

"I am convinced that helping others is one of the most important things I can do," said Griselda Reinosa 18.. 

Reinosa who is finishing her last year in high school,  works as a cashier in a restaurant, but she still wants

to make some time to lend a hand to those  in need. 

"I think I’ll volunteer to First 5, because they provide services to many families in my community," said the young

woman after reviewing the programs of nearly two dozen community organizations. 

Captain George Kolarov,  
Banning High School counselor, overseeing one of the four academies at the school,

explains that the volunteer work have a positive impact on academic performance:

"Our school has a graduation rate above 70%," said the adviser, noting that students acquire valuable skills both

to continue their studies or when they join the workforce. 
"In addition to learning how to follow a schedule and meet a workload, the experience often helps them define what

they want to pursue in the future," said Kolarov. 

Denise Arechiga, a sophomore from Banning, definitely   wants to attend a culinary school when she graduates.

 So she thinks volunteering for “Food Finders” is a good starting point for her. 

"Unfortunately, many people in my community need help, so I'd like to dedicate to it at least a couple of days a  week,"

said Arechiga.

Diana Lara, in charge of volunteer programs for the organization, said it received a great response from the students.

Food Finders receives food from corporations and catering companies, markets, etc., who donate their surplus.

"Yesterday for example we received a call warning that Skechers had canceled a major corporate event and could not

use all the food the company had purchased" Lara said, noting that they have  300 volunteers in the region, who pick up,

sort  and deliver the food.

Vanessa Ramirez, one of the counselors at
Banning High School, explained that the school requires that the students

complete at least 90 hours of volunteer work in grades 10 and 12. 
"While many look at options in this regard because of this mandate, most soon discover the call to help and end up doing

many more hours," Ramirez said.

The event, Community Service Expo was host by the nonprofit International Trade Education Program (ITEP)  under the

slogan "Think Globally, Volunteer Locally”

"If we want  a generation that is prepared to face international problems, they (students) have to start getting involved in

their communities," said Amy Grat, executive director of ITEP.
Grat added that among the many benefits provided by the volunteer experience, it is the value added to the student’s resume. 

"It's a very important factor that complements the skills and other qualifications at the time of obtaining scholarships or improving

 the odds of being admitted to certain institutions," said Grat. As an example, Grat quoted the ITEP grant scholarships that require

 a minimum of 200 hours of volunteering among candidates.

For info on the ITEP Dinner March 23rd background on ITEP 
visit: http://www.itepinc.org/





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