WEST COVINA, Calif.—The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently recognized North-West College graduate Cynthia Avellaneda with the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer service over the past year. An honor awarded by the President of the United States, the award emphasizes the valuable contributions made by volunteers nationwide and encourages them to pursue a lifetime of service.
“I was so overwhelmed and grateful to receive this award,” Avellaneda shared. “It’s incredible to know I have this honor to show my children as I set an example for them in helping others.”
Avellaneda accepted the award at the College’s West Covina campus. As an official Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, North-West College was able to identify Avellaneda as an eligible recipient, verify her volunteer service hours, and distribute the award to her.
Life for Avellaneda looked markedly different just two years ago. A series of hardships landed her homeless with little hope for her future. In January 2018, she entered North-West College’s Eyecare Specialist program and shortly afterwards, she began volunteering through the encouragement of her Instructor.
“It felt so good to be able to give back to other people while I was working toward my own dreams,” Avellaneda said. “Not only was I making a difference every week, but I was getting the chance to go out in the field and practice the skills I was learning to become an Eyecare Specialist.”
Avellaneda juggled being a single mom and the demands of life with her studies and completed the Eyecare Specialist program at NWC in October 2018. “I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of accomplishment I have now. To have started where I did—homeless—and now to have graduated from an amazing college is really powerful,” she said.
“North-West College helped me achieve an incredible new beginning for me and my family,” Avellaneda shared. “It doesn’t matter what obstacles you are facing or how far you think you have fallen – there is always hope. If I can make this incredible turnaround, anyone can!”
Today, Avellaneda is currently working at her dream job in the eyecare field. She has big goals for her family and her future, and she continues to volunteer her time to lend a helping hand to those in need.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the federal government agency that leads service, volunteering, and grant-making efforts in the United States, helping millions of Americans improve their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Read more about the President’s Volunteer Service Award by visiting presidentialserviceawards.gov.
Interested in learning more about North-West College’s programs? Please contact Nancy Aguillon at NancyA@success.edu for more information today!