A teen’s life is busy: dealing with the pressures of “growing up,” going to school, devoting many hours to homework, and often working a part-time job. Despite these demands, young women in Novato are setting time aside for volunteering—to make a difference in their community. Two such inspiring volunteers are Annette Aguilera-Gonzalez and Danielle O'Reilly. For Annette's dedication and perseverance, Soroptimist International of Novato recently awarded her the Violet Richardson Award in the amount of $1,000 and Danielle was awarded $500. The program recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place.
Annette is an active volunteer with the Novato Wellness Center. She is a Peer Educator who connects her peers with services to combat teen pregnancy and to offer counseling. Annette also makes presentations in the health classes at Novato High School to tell students about the center and its services. She also helps to build an online presence as an advocate for the Teen Clinic. Annette has created and facilitated a workshop called "Dating 101" for middle school students for three years and speaks about topics such as healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. In an effort to raise awareness of youth mental health issues, she also worked on the development of a video to help teens cope with stress, which will be part of a workshop in the health classes.
Annette has since been chosen the Violet Richardson Award
Winner for District IV of the Soroptimist International Founder Region (District IV includes clubs in Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties).
Sydney Sciaini, the representative of the District IV
Violet Richardson Award, has this to say about Annette:"Annette’s passion is evident
in what she does and benefits all teens in the age groups she counsels.
Her original programs could be expanded to other school districts. Her
project has the potential to help educate all teens during a difficult coming
of age transition that all young people share"
Second place winner, Danielle O'Reilly, is a Marin Teen Girl Ambassador who works to create a conference for middle and high schools that makes a safe place to talk about problems that are prevalent in their lives such as body image, stress, and healthy dating relationships. She also works for the Center of Domestic Peace that is a major advocate for healthy relationships. Danielle is part of a group called Marin Against Youth Abuse and serves as a peer counselor. She created a teen dating violence awareness program that is going to be used in high schools across Marin County.
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For more information about Soroptimist International of Novato, please go to www.Soropnovato.org.
For information about SI Novato meetings and membership, please contact membership chair, Sylvia Barry, at (415) 717-0293 or email sylvia@SylviaBarryRE.com