Dedicated volunteers: from left, Valeria Ventura, Gina Quinlan, Nena Manuel and Adriana Smith.
4 students complete almost
18,000 hours as volunteers
Graduating from Carondelet High School on May 18, four young women completed more than 17,000 hours of volunteer service between them.
Nena Manuel of Antioch completed 5,391 hours of service, Adriana Smith of Walnut Creek gave 4,444 hours, Gina Quinlan of Antioch accomplished 4,006 hours and Valeria Ventura of Concord worked 4,003 hours, for a total of 17,844 hours of community service.
Each of the women earned the President's Lifetime Service Award for completing 4,000 hours of volunteer service in the community.
Nena Manuel also received Carondelet High School's Fontbonne Award, which recognizes the graduate who personifies the CSJ tradition of "eyes open, ears attentive, spirits alert, sleeves rolled up for ministry." The award recalls the spirituality of Mother Saint Jeanne Fontbonne, who refounded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph after the French Revolution. In presenting the Fontbonne Award, campus minister Lacy Gregor said that Manuel had "made Carondelet a brighter place to be."
In volunteering for the last 10 years, Nena Manuel earned the Girl Scout Gold Award and also volunteered with the Boy Scouts' Eagle Award program. She takes care of the elderly at a nursing home near her house, and cares for her 91-year-old grandfather. She is a special education teacher's aide in Tracy and Brentwood during summer school, and she also helps at the Boy Scouts Advance Camp and the Contra Costa County Youth Summit for teenagers, and is active at Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch. "I believe that giving is better than receiving," Manuel says. "So I like to give as much as I can, to help people out."
Gina Quinlan volunteered at Building Blocks Children's Center and at Holy Rosary Parish in Antioch. Adriana Smith worked at John Muir Health and Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill, and worked with special education students at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. Valeria Ventura volunteered at soccer camp, Tender Loving Daycare in Concord, and at Aegis retirement community in Pleasant Hill.
At Carondelet High School this year, 60 seniors logged more than 22,000 hours of community service. Ten students earned a President's Volunteer Service Award Bronze Pin for 100 hours of service, 10 received the Silver Pin for 175 hours, and 34 women received the Gold Pin for 250 hours of volunteer service to the greater community.
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