Gratitude Awards Digest

2018-2019

Why was the Gratitude Awards Program created?

Young people are faced with countless challenges, which often seem insurmountable. However, they also have incalculable opportunities to impact their neighborhoods, schools, and communities in powerful and positive ways. PublicServiceNV was eager to engage, educate, and recognize Nevada youth, who create their own projects to meet community needs. Therefore, PublicServiceNV created the Gratitude Awards Program, which was inaugurated in four CCSD high schools during the 2016-2017 school year.

Since then, PublicServiceNV Board members have interacted with more than 2,500 CCSD students about their own empowerment opportunities through the Serve.Learn.Inspire. Civic Engagement Education Program. PublicServiceNV created a new civic engagement model through this 10-lesson curriculum, which includes lessons, self-reflections, team activities, and supplemental materials.

It takes dedicated teachers to make all of this work, and PublicServiceNV “Faculty Champions” are these education and engagement heroes. They invite PublicServiceNV Board members into their classroom to teach Serve.Learn.Inspire., and they work with their students to encourage them to convert the “learning” into “doing” by participating in the Gratitude Awards Program.

PSNV Salutes our 2018-2019 Faculty Champions, their Schools, and/or Programs:

  • Jeff Archibald and Stacy Miller, Las Vegas Academy
  • L.M. (Maggie) Carlton, Advanced Technologies Academy
  • Sujith Cherukumilli, Dr. William H. Bailey Middle School
  • Michael Carter and Roberto Lopez, Jr., Sunrise Mountain High School/Communities in Schools
  • Jeff Field, C.P. Squires Elementary School
  • Rochelle Lively, D. Keller Middle School
  • Bianca Lutchen and Treasha Weatherspoon, Chaparral High School/Communities in Schools
  • Erica Mosca and Daniel Leyva, Leaders in Training
  • Matthew Nighswonger, Shadow Ridge High School
  • Lisa Peltz, Las Vegas High School/PAL Program
  • Julie Roos, Canyon Springs High School
  • Shoichi Sato and Sukari Smith, Western High School/Communities in Schools
  • Luanne Wagner, Ed W. Clark High School

2018-2019 Successes

From August 20 to September 12, 2018, PublicServiceNV Board members visited 30 classes (871 students) to engage them in Serve.Learn.Inspire.. In March and April, 2019, PublicServiceNV recognized four teams with Gratitude Awards and nine teams with PublicServiceNV “Certificates of Contribution.” As part of the Gratitude Awards Program, PublicServiceNV donated money, as directed by Gratitude Award recipients, to:

  • The Animal Foundation
  • Las Vegas Academy
  • Las Vegas High School, Special Education Program
  • Las Vegas Rescue Mission
  • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
  • Walter V. Long STEAM Academy

Each year, Gratitude Awards recipients benefit from being:

  • Recognized with certificates during a PublicServiceNV awards ceremony at their schools.
  • Acknowledged on PublicServiceNV.org for their vital contributions to their communities.
  • Rewarded financially by directing PublicServiceNV donations, in their names, to area nonprofits and/or schools.
  • Honored in the Gratitude Awards Digest, which is uploaded to PublicServiceNV.org and distributed to CCSD and other education decision-makers district-wide.

Let us now take a moment to appreciate these magnificent students and their contributions.


Category: Animal Welfare

Pawsible Friends

Awards Event: March 13, 2019

Small Team:

  • Michaela Briggs, Team Leader
  • Noa Agatstein
  • Marek Fialkiewicz
  • Kanai Hager
  • Mikella Larese
  • Gonzalo Martinez
  • Andrea Sigala
  • Stacy Miller, Faculty Champion, Las Vegas Academy

 

Project Description (as described by the team)

Upon doing our research, we found the Animal Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that thrives on donations for the animals that come into the shelter. We decided to help with donations and set up an Instagram page to spread the word about our plan. We only directed it to our school community, friends, and family.

We collected several items, including: a case of wet cat food, dry food, several toys, containers of peanut butter (the dogs love peanut butter), and towels. These items will help more than 100-150 animals that are being sheltered each day.

Inspiration for this Project (as described by the team leader, Michaela Briggs)

As a team, we wanted to find a way to help the Animal Foundation and the animals they rescue. We contacted them, and they sent us a variety of things they needed, including: a list of everyday items that are always needed for the animals, an Amazon wish list, and ideas about different ways that we could help them without volunteering directly due to age restrictions.

Impact of this Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the team)

By doing this project, we learned a lot about different communities and how doing one small act can help so many. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we helped more than 100 animals and knowing that they feel comfortable, where they are being sheltered, and not suffering from not having anything.

Donations (distribution of $500, as determined by the team)

  • The Animal Foundation ($250)
  • Las Vegas Academy ($250)

Category: Education

Musicals in Schoolsicals

Awards Event: March 13, 2019

Small Team:

  • Night Kjenstad, Team Leader
  • Jacob Baltierra
  • Lizeth Campos
  • Andrea Cates
  • Absalon Flores
  • Hector Flores
  • Gerrard Larrieu
  • Stacy Miller, Faculty Champion, Las Vegas Academy

 

Project Description (as described by the team)

Due to the nature of the tasks required for production of a musical, we decided to focus on third, fourth, and fifth graders. All students were given the opportunity to participate in workshops, which we designed to build student capacity in the areas of singing, dancing, and acting. Following the workshops, students participated in auditions and casting.

Inspiration for this Project (as described by the team leader, Night Kjenstad)

Our team chose to focus on reaching out into the community with the Las Vegas Academy’s mission of integrating the arts. We chose Walter V. Long STEAM Academy as a partner, because they have a high percentage of students, who have little to no exposure to the arts. Also, faculty members were excited about creating a musical at the elementary school level.

Impact of this Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the team)

The workshops to teach singing, dancing, and acting impacted more than 150 students. Next, the casting for the musical, resulted in a cast of more than 50 students. These students have had the opportunity to interact with team members in choreography, acting, technical, and set creation aspects of theater.

Teachers and staff at Walter V. Long STEAM Academy also had an opportunity to work with our team, which resulted in both sides learning skills. The benefits of experienced educators working with young people, who are passionate about their emerging crafts, have been very impactful for everyone involved.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

What’s Next?

As described by team leader, Night Kjenstad, “This experience has been a one-of-a-kind for the elementary students, and several of them have actively sought entrance into middle school arts magnet programs because of this opportunity.”

In addition, three Walter V. Long STEAM Academy administrators/teachers attended the awards event at the Las Vegas Academy. They shared the story of one student who participated in this musical adventure. Because of a profound speech challenge, he was both friendless and bullied. However, this experience allowed him to participate fully as a singer and actor and, because of this opportunity, he now has friends and engages more fully in school.

Donations (distribution of $500, as determined by the team)

  • Walter V. Long STEAM Academy ($500)

Category: Health and Wellness

Homeless Helpers

Awards Event: March 13, 2019

Small Team:

  • Aaliyah Muhammad, Team Leader
  • Alexandra Conner
  • Kendal Curtis
  • Angelica Manio
  • Miho Okano
  • Stacy Miller, Faculty Champion, Las Vegas Academy

 

Project Description (as described by the team)

Teaming up with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, we discovered opportunities to support the staff. We were able to provide aid with the preparation of dinner meals for the homeless population in the local area. We helped organize the thrift store in the Las Vegas Rescue Mission facility to ensure cleanliness in the store and to present articles of clothing in their best condition. The majority of the customers are low-income persons so this helps them access pieces of clothing, electronic appliances and/or accessories, furniture, and children’s toys with low and affordable prices.

Our team provided assistance, which enabled up to 15 staff members to perform other duties so that they could have more time to directly help the homeless more. Also, each team member donated money to help feed the homeless clients.

Inspiration for this Project (as described by team leader, Aaliyah Muhammad)

We chose to serve the homeless community, because when riding the buses to and from school in downtown Las Vegas, we see a constant high population of homeless people outside. We see them for blocks, particularly around north Fifth Street. We wanted to do anything that we can to help the homeless community.

By working with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, whether it be staffing, volunteering, sheltering, or feeding people, we knew it would all benefit the homeless community in some way. Without staff, the rescue mission would not have certain things, such as an organized thrift center or a furniture warehouse that helps the homeless shelter themselves. Staff helps give tours so the homeless feel comfortable and accepted. Staff and volunteers are the face of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and welcome these community seekers.

Impact of this Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the team)

This experience was more than a project to the team. We  spent lots of time together, coming up with ideas and sharing our knowledge of the community that strengthened our beliefs and perspectives on learning. We bonded and enjoyed each other’s company, especially with our balanced levels of work.

What’s Next?

During the Gratitude Awards event at the Las Vegas Academy, students learned that the average donation to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission totals between $5 and $10. According to the rescue mission, the value of the team’s directed donation is even more meaningful, because Las Vegas Academy students chose to have this donation serve the needs of our community’s homeless.

The team also visited the Las Vegas Rescue Mission’s website and learned that a sum of $2.17 can provide one meal for a homeless person. With this information, team members created posters, which they circulated among families and friends with the hope that these posters will grow the contributions even more.

Donations (distribution of $500, as determined by the team)

  • Las Vegas Rescue Mission ($250)
  • Las Vegas Academy ($250)

Category: Human Kindness

Helping the Homeless Youth

Awards Event: April 8, 2019

Small Team:

  • Alvi Galindo, Team Co-Leader
  • Britney Martinez, Team Co-Leader
  • Jonathan Flores
  • Dulce Saenz Guzman
  • Larina Ibarra
  • Katherin Mendoza
  • Lisa Peltz, Faculty Champion, Las Vegas High School

 

Project Description (as described by the team)

We created a donation drive for gently used clothing, shoes, and other necessities. We also hosted a “Miracle Minute” at our high school. The money we raised from the “Miracle Minute” helped us construct hygiene kits with a multitude of basic hygienic supplies.

This project was much bigger than our team and involved the support and help of our own school community. We wanted to spread the word of our project and Key Club, National Honor Society, and the PAL program were eager to help. Key Club not only encouraged people to donate but they themselves donated more than $100 in hygienic items.

Members of the National Honor Society helped us organize and package the clothing that we received so that they could be readily donated to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

Teachers and students of the PAL program always offered a helping hand, either by posting flyers around the classrooms or by donating clothes. We are continuously grateful for their help. One act of kindness always leads to another.

In addition, for several Wednesdays, we volunteered at a local church to help prepare and serve food to the homeless.

Inspiration for this Project (as described by team co-leaders, Alvi Galindo and Britney Martinez)

Before we began our project, we knew that we wanted to create something that would benefit a community that was in need. Upon doing some research, we realized that the homeless youth are a community that not only need help but also greatly populate the city of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has one of the highest homeless populations in the country, ranking number eight nationwide for homelessness. Statistics could say everything about poverty, but they can’t even begin to comprehend what the actual life of a homeless person is like.

It was important for us to give back to this community because, more often than not, people have preconceived notions about the homeless or shrug off these staggering reports. We wanted to change this.

Impact of this Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the team)

We learned that our volunteering at the local church was not easy. The rooms were very small and crowded, making it hard to move around when trying to prepare the food. However, it was always an amazing experience working with the other volunteers and being surrounded by people, who cared about the same cause.

It was also exciting to meet people with different backgrounds and hearing the colorful stories that they did not hesitate to share. We met people who have battled with tragedies but still smile like kids when we gave them an extra serving of cranberry sauce. The room was always lively, as everyone who came would chatter amongst themselves and beam with happiness when serving time came. It reminded us that the little things can truly make someone’s day.

By the end, we fed hundreds of homeless people, raised more than $250 with the “Miracle Minute,” assembled 90 hygiene kits, and donated more than 20 boxes of new and gently used clothing.

What’s Next?

During the Gratitude Awards event at Las Vegas High School, the executive director of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth addressed the students. He told them that their project and generous financial donation demonstrate that students can serve, learn, and inspire with their acts of kindness. He invited the 200 people in attendance to learn more about (and get involved with helping) the 16,000 homeless teenagers enrolled in CCSD public schools.

Donations (distribution of $500, as determined by the team)

  • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth ($250)
  • Las Vegas High School, Special Education Program ($250) 

2018-2019

PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution”

Six teams at the Las Vegas Academy successfully submitted projects for consideration. Though they did not receive Gratitude Awards, PublicServiceNV recognized each team member with a PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution” during a presentation event at Las Vegas Academy on March 13, 2019.

Category: Animal Welfare

Project: Community Animal Outreach with Paws for Change

  • Lauren Garner, Team Leader
  • Emily Hollern
  • Veronica Maita
  • Mayya Nehrych
  • Sophia Wantland
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Category: Education

Project: The Creative Education Project

  • Nandalyn Reyes, Team Leader
  • Abbygail Armijo
  • Elida Flores
  • Fritz Michaelen
  • Grace Vanetti
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Category: Human Kindness

Project: K.O. Support

  • Elijah Patterson, Team Leader
  • Evan Franklin
  • Justin Grubb
  • Estee Harbor
  • Kayla Quijano
  • Daija Thorns
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Category: Human Kindness

Project: LVA Boba Fundraiser

  • Sierra Winter-Klepel, Team Leader
  • Katelynne Butcher
  • Jason Zoe Chang
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Category: Human Kindness

Project: Open Mic Donation Drive

  • Emily Leech, Tam Leader
  • Kaylee Danchack
  • Jyna Ponce
  • Sophia Ramos
  • Najiya Shakir
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Category: Human Kindness

Project: Permanent Solutions

  • Miles Dichler, Team Leader
  • Max Jiesiah Cruz
  • Faculty Champion: Stacy Miller

Three teams at the Las Vegas High School successfully submitted projects for consideration. Though they did not receive Gratitude Awards, PublicServiceNV recognized each team member with a PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution” during a presentation event at Las Vegas High School on April 8, 2019.

Category: Health and Wellness

Project: Community Service Project

Small Team Recipients:

  • Samantha Aguila, Team Leader
  • Pollyana Franco
  • Maribel Martinez
  • Daisy Ornelas
  • Jazmin Ortega

Faculty Champion: Lisa Peltz

Category: Human Kindness

Project: Books and Movies for Kids in the Hospital

Small Team Recipients:

  • Michael Gonzalez, Team Leader
  • Taysiah-Charmel Afalla
  • Edwin Artero
  • Priscilla Becerra
  • Jesse Valezquez
  • Faculty Champion: Lisa Peltz

Category: Human Kindness

Project: Homeless Youth Donations

Small Team Recipients:

  • Jaidy Gallegos, Team Leader
  • Nubia Gallegos
  • Sheyla Herrera
  • Nidia Piedra
  • Destiny Rosales

Faculty Champion: Lisa Peltz


Going Forward . . . YOU Can Help

Build a Stronger Community,

One Child at a Time

If you can identify a Faculty Champion or a CCSD school or community program that might be interested in participating in PublicServiceNV’s Community Engagement Programs (the Serve.Learn.Inspire. Civic Engagement Education Program and the Gratitude Awards Program), please contact:

Email: vwiener@publicservicenv.org

Telephone: 702-221-0068 (office)

PublicServiceNV’s mission invites this opportunity to “engage, educate, and recognize individuals whose service enriches their communities.” Let’s work together to “engage, educate, and recognize” our community’s youth . . . NOW. We look forward to hearing from you.


Gratitude Awards Digest

2017-2018

Why was the Gratitude Awards Program created?

Young people are faced with countless challenges, which often seem insurmountable. However, they also have incalculable opportunities to impact their neighborhoods, schools, and communities in powerful and positive ways. With the intention of motivating Nevada youth to participate in their own civic-engagement projects, PublicServiceNV inaugurated the Gratitude Awards Program at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

During this second year of the program (2017-2018), PublicServiceNV Board members worked collaboratively with the Public Education Foundation, Clark County School District (CCSD) classroom teachers, and others to elevate this intention. “Faculty Champions,” who helped facilitate PublicServiceNV’s community-engagement programs with students, are listed below:

  • Canyon Springs High School: Shane Bean, Toni Marchian, and Julie Roos;
  • Ed W. Clark High School: Luanne Wagner;
  • Las Vegas Academy: Jeff Archibald, Stacey Dallas Johnston, and Stacy Miller;
  • Las Vegas High School: Lisa Peltz;
  • D.D. Keller Middle School: Rochelle Lively; and
  • Leaders in Training: Erica Mosca and Daniel Leyva.

PublicServiceNV Board members worked closely with each of these Faculty Champions during classroom trainings with their students. From August 31 to October 3, 2017, PublicServiceNV Board members visited 17 classes (507 students) twice to engage them in the highly interactive Serve.Learn.Inspire. Civic-Engagement Education Program. We developed the 10-lesson curriculum for this program in July 2017. This civic-engagement education program lays the foundation for students, who choose to participate in the Gratitude Awards Program, which involves their selecting a community, working with that community to determine a need, and creating a project to address that need.

Students who earn Gratitude Awards benefit from being:

  • Recognized with certificates during a PublicServiceNV awards ceremony at their schools.
  • Acknowledged on PublicServiceNV.org for their vital contributions to their communities.
  • Rewarded financially by directing PublicServiceNV donations, in their names, to area nonprofits and/or schools.
  • Gifted with their own autographed book sets.
  • Honored in the Gratitude Awards Digest, which is online and distributed to CCSD and other education decision-makers district-wide.
  • Remembered through the donation of book sets, in their names, to their school libraries or programs.

Let us now take a moment to appreciate these magnificent students and their contributions.


award-thanksgiving-pLeaders in Training Program

Category: Human Kindness

 “Thanksgiving Food Drive”

Awards Event: January 20, 2018

Individual Project

  • Odalys Vega, Individual Recipient
  • Erica Mosca, Faculty Champion
  • Daniel Leyva, Faculty Champion

 

Project Description (as described by Odalys Vega):

I created a Thanksgiving Food Drive for the upcoming holidays for low-income families. I partnered with HELP of Southern Nevada to collect food donations for Thanksgiving baskets for low-income families affected by unemployment, as well as the working poor. I filled out forms, created a flyer, and set up collection boxes. In approximately two weeks, I filled a large box with 150 non-perishable Thanksgiving-themed food items. This meant that families in need could receive assistance to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner.

Inspiration for This Project (as described by Odalys Vega):

Growing up in Las Vegas, I was surrounded by hunger and homelessness, from inside my family to the girl who sat next to me in fourth grade. My family is not economically privileged, and I remember when I was younger that we had to go receive help from a food pantry. For these reasons, it was easy to dedicate my project to help feed low-income families on Thanksgiving Day.

To me, Thanksgiving was one of the only times I could be with my entire family. A strong family bond is important, especially when you’re going through a tough time. When my dad left, it was my family that gave us a place to live. It was my family that helped my brothers and me heal. It was my family that never made me feel like I was from a broken home. And, these were the traditions that reminded me of this.

Impact of This Service on the Community and Me (as described by Odalys Vega):

This project meant that families can be reminded that they’re not alone. Thanksgiving is a day when families in need can be a family . . . a day when we can be grateful for each other. 

Donations (Distribution of $300, as determined by the Odalys Vega):

  • Leaders in Training Program—$150
  • East Career and Technical Academy—$150

What’s Next?

Roy C. Thompson, Assistant Principal, East Career and Technical Academy, attended this awards event. When accepting the donation check for ECTA, he looked at Odalys and said, “I see you every day at school. Now, going forward, I know who I can count on for leadership at our school.”


award-social-inequality-pLeaders in Training Program

Category: Public Safety and Justice

 “Social Inequality”

Awards Event: January 20, 2018

Small Team:

  • Veronica Rico, Team Leader
  • Ytxzae Enriquez, Team Member
  • April Sambrano, Team Member
  • Erica Mosca, Faculty Champion
  • Daniel Leyva, Faculty Champion

 

Project Description (as described by the Team):

We chose the community of East Las Vegas for our project, because it is the community that we belong to, and it is the one that affects us and our loved ones immediately. We created a survey, “What Are You Mad About?,” to learn how our community feels. We created a video that shows our community that their opinions were going to be heard by others, including political figures, so that they know that they matter to the people in Las Vegas.  The point of our project was to get the voice of the people in our community and to show that we aren’t ignorant of what is going on with the education of students here. We just don’t know what we can do. My team and I wanted to help these voices be heard by those in charge of our education. We talked to teachers, parents, hair stylists, flea market workers, and anyone else who had an opinion on this, might be concerned about their own children, and might want to support us in this effort.

Inspiration for This Project (as described by Veronica Rico, Team Leader):

I grew up thinking that I was decent in school, where it had a 30-to-one ratio. Then, I moved across town to another school, where I wasn’t being challenged enough. Soon enough, it caught up with me, and I have struggled more in high school. Now, at the most critical year of my educational career, I find that I’m being cut short once again. This cannot continue to happen.

We (our team) realized that we are being held to the same standards as other people around the country, yet we do not have the same opportunities that they have. It has been said, over and over, that the ACT is a make-or-break for us, but we take the test at such an ignorant age when we take time for granted. Fellow Leaders in Training students talked about having their own ACT class integrated during the day. I thought about my discussion with a counselor at my school about not wanting to take forensic science and how I’d rather have an ACT class instead. She responded that no one had the time or money for that. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought this could be changed.

We are not vapid, vacuous, or doltish! We—I—belong to a group of misled people, who all live in the same city, and we share the same zip codes, and we know the culprit. It’s called inequality. . . . We do have the capability of being anything but dull-witted!

Impact of This Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the Team):

We faced challenges when dealing with people and actually asking them if they would take our survey. Most people would just wave us away as if we were selling them some type of product when all we wanted was their truths! However, we did get to meet new people in our community and see how they felt. Some of them were very proud of us and glad that we were handling this project. We gave our community a voice, which will be spread so that something can be done.

Donations (Distribution of $500, as determined by the Team):

  • Teach for America—$150
  • United Way of Southern Nevada—$150
  • Daniel Goldfarb Elementary School—$200

What’s Next?

The team has experienced great inspiration from the power of this civic-engagement project and plans to share the results of the team’s survey with key Clark County decision-makers, including the CCSD Board of Trustees.


fullsizerenderLas Vegas Academy

Category: Human Kindness

“Una Nueva Vida”

Awards Event: January 29, 2018

 

Small Team:

  • Monse Rodriguez, Team Leader
  • Adam Chapel, Team Member
  • Gabriel Estevez-Llanes, Team Member
  • Alejandra Sandoval-Rubio, Team Member
  • Isis Vargas, Team Member
  • Regina Zavala, Team Member
  • Stacy Miller, Faculty Champion

 

Project Description (as described by the Team):

Our team decided to serve the immigrant community, because it is something that we all have a personal connection to. In order to celebrate Hispanic heritage, we decided to make and sell elotes and Mexican styled pinwheels at the Las Vegas Academy’s Fall Festival on November 3, 2017.

Inspiration for This Project (as described by Veronica Rico, Team Leader):

We were inspired by the project manager’s father. After waiting 31 years, this year, with the help of Hermandad Mexicana, he has been able to financially achieve naturalization. It is a known problem here in the United States that immigrants simply do not immediately look for naturalization because of the cost and time. By providing support, we hope to help the immigrant community here in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We faced challenges with where our money should go. We kept switching out ideas and simply could not settle on one. It wasn’t until we all looked into our personal experiences that we found where our earned money should go.

Impact of This Service on the Community and the Team (as described by the Team):

This experience opened all of our eyes to the need in the immigrant community. We all realized how difficult it is for immigrants to come into our country and become citizens. We gained more knowledge from it, and we’re now advocating for the immigrants in our community. With the $190 we raised with our project, we have helped immigrants be able to take classes for free so that they, too, can become citizens.

Donations (Distribution of $500, as determined by the Team):

  • Nevada Partners—$250
  • Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada—$250

What’s Next?

During the Gratitude Awards Event at Las Vegas Academy, Monica Ford, President, Nevada Partners, shared with the students that Nevada Partners provides these otherwise-fee-based classes for immigrants for free. She encouraged these students and their schoolmates to work within their community to spread the word about these free classes.


2017-2018

PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution”

PublicServiceNV also honored Las Vegas High School students, who submitted team projects that demonstrated the power of civic engagement. Each of these students, though they did not earn a Gratitude Award, did receive a PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution” during a presentation event at Las Vegas High School on December 15, 2017.

Category: Health and Wellness

#PrayForLasVegas

  • Samantha Davila, Team Leader
  • Adelina Flores, Team Member
  • Lisa Peltz, Faculty Champion
  • Category: Human Kindness

HeartWarming Experience

  • Giselle Gradilla, Team Leader
  • Jennifer Mendoza, Team Member
  • Jennifer Mora, Team Member
  • Jasmin Navarrete, Team Member
  • Lisa Peltz, Faculty Champion

Category: Human Kindness

Latino Citizenship Fundraiser

  • Sarah Gutierrez, Team Leader
  • Karen Balderas, Team Member
  • Abel Jara-Magallanes, Team Member
  • Ricardo Juarez, Team Member
  • Axel Rodriguez, Team Member
  • Leslie Soriano, Team Member
  • Lisa Peltz, Faculty Champion

Going Forward . . .

If you can identify a Faculty Champion or a CCSD middle school or high school that might be interested in participating in PublicServiceNV’s Community Engagement Programs, please contact vwiener@PublicServiceNV.org or call us at 702-221-0068. The 2018-2019 Gratitude Awards Registration-Submission period runs from August 13 to December 9, 2018. During this period, we will also be working with Faculty Champions and the Serve.Learn.Inspire. Civic Engagement Education Program in their classrooms. We look forward to hearing from you.


Gratitude Awards Digest

2016-2017

PublicServiceNV is proud to celebrate the recipients of the 2016-2017 Gratitude Awards.

artesia-receiving-award6

Cheyenne High School

Category: Education

 “Peer Mentoring Program”

Awards Event: May 5, 2017

Small Team:

      • Artesia Graham, Team Leader
      • Esmeralda Cabera, Team Member
      • Jiselle Mendoza, Team Member
      • Dianara Zaragoza, Team Member
      • Noah Zepeda, Team Member
      • Maria Vega, Faculty Champion

 

Project Description (as described by the Team):

The Cheyenne High School Peer Mentoring Program is designed to provide additional support to our freshmen students as they navigate through the often difficult transition into high school. The primary goal of the Peer Mentoring Program is to improve student achievement by providing academic, behavioral, and social support to our freshmen.

Each freshman student is paired up with a pre-selected senior, who will serve as a helping hand, a resource, and a friend throughout their freshman year. All program participants—freshmen and seniors—will be invited to lunch twice a month and participate in various program activities.

Inspiration for This Project (as described by Team Leader, Artesia Graham):

My freshman year was very tough because my mother was a single parent and was busy working while my father was incarcerated. My mom wasn’t able to attend my extracurricular activities but managed to attend what she could. I wanted to fit in but didn’t know how to make good friends. Instead, I surrounded myself with negative people. I participated in the 2016 Summer Business Institute while working at the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. The employees gave me the lesson of leaving a powerful legacy. Therefore, they encouraged me to initiate a club at Cheyenne High School that would interpret the importance of success.

Last year, Ms. Harenberg helped me develop a Peer Mentoring Program for our freshmen and senior students. Then, I proposed it to our principal and administration. Upon acceptance, I began to select seniors who expressed interest, and I planned meetings. We meet twice a month, and the program has been functioning very well.

Impact of This Service on the Community and the Team (as described by Team Leader, Artesia Graham):

My service, as the Team Leader of this program, has helped me apply my scholarly philosophy to the committed aspirations of my life. I have developed a growth mindset and willpower to take new challenges beyond the norm and surround myself with more positive people. I have improved my communication and motivation skills. By initiating, I realize that I must be thankful for what I have accomplished throughout my high school career.

One freshman participant said that the program taught her more about academic achievement and helped her with having anxiety to become more social. In addition, it helps with building self-confidence, improving life skills, and adapting to entering high school.

Donations (as determined by the Team)*:

  • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
  • Shannon West Homeless Youth Center
  • The Shade Tree
  • Cheyenne High School

*PublicServiceNV donated money in the individual names of each member of the team to each of the nonprofits and Cheyenne High School. In addition, books were donated in the names of each team member to the Cheyenne High School Library.

What’s Next?

As a follow-up to the Gratitude Awards event at Cheyenne High School on May 5, 2017, Team Leader Artesia Graham explained that she is already working with feeder middle schools to ensure that incoming freshmen can be connected with mentors as they enter Cheyenne High School. She also has been encouraging the expansion of the mentors to include juniors to ensure the continuity of the program.


alondra-and-joey-with-awards2

Las Vegas High School

Category: Human Kindness

 “PAL Pantry Drive”

Awards Event: April 28, 2017

Small Team:

      • Joseph Gomez, Team Co-Leader
      • Alondra Grajeda-Rodriguez, Team Co-Leader
      • Lisa Peltz, Faculty Champion

 

Project Description (as described by the Team):

We created this project to assist our fellow peers who attend our high school but are in need of essential supplies, such as hygiene products, school supplies, food/water, and other items. We offered our help to create the PAL Pantry Drive project and collected items throughout the course of one week. In order to give motivation to the PAL students, we made a contest between the English classes. With the help of Mrs. Peltz and the other PAL teachers, we were able to collect over 200 items. The items ranged from feminine hygiene products to school supplies, such as pencils, binders, rulers, paper, and much more!

Inspiration for This Project (as described by Team):

We wanted to help those in need. We put ourselves in the shoes of students who come to school every day but their families/parents can’t afford basic supplies for their son or daughter to succeed in school. Creating a project that would help our fellow peers, which could be one of our very own friends, brings satisfaction to us knowing that we could help our school and community.

Impact of This Service on the Community and the Team (as described by Team):

Our project affected our community by helping those students who are in need to strive for success in school by not having to worry if they haven’t eaten or if they can’t get a school supply or any necessity that a teacher asked…. Hopefully, we helped them through the various donations of our drive. Not only did our project demonstrate Human Kindness but also Health and Wellness to the students in our community, who attend LVHS, to make sure that they are physically and mentally well by providing items that they need to continue throughout their weeks. *

*NOTE: An estimated 50 students benefitted from the PAL Pantry Drive from November 14 to 18, 2016.

Donations (as determined by the Team)*:

  • Las Vegas Rescue Mission
  • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
  • The Shade Tree
  • Las Vegas High School

*PublicServiceNV donated money in the individual names of each member of the team to each of the nonprofits and Las Vegas High School. In addition, books were donated in the names of each team member to the Las Vegas High School Library.

What’s Next?

During the Gratitude Awards event at Las Vegas High School on April 28, 2017, Team Co- Leader Joseph Gomez explained the importance of continuing the Food Pantry Drive and expressed the Team’s request that the money being donated in their names to Las Vegas High School be dedicated to this purpose. And it was!