The United Community Center (UCC) has been successfully serving Milwaukee’s south side since 1970 due, in large part, to dedicated volunteers throughout the region. Each year, more than 1,000 community members and organizations share their generosity of spirit with us and therefore share in our victories. The twelfth annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration will bring the sunshine to UCC, honoring of some of the most notable contributions on Thursday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Latino Arts Gallery:
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Mariana Rosales
Currently a student at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Mariana spends her summers working with the Latino Arts Strings summer program and tutoring Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS) students. She is also a regular assistant at the Latino Arts concerts.
Athletic Coach of the Year: Roy Contreras
Over the past 20 years, Roy has served UCC as a coach and mentor to UCC youth. Roy coaches flag football, basketball and volleyball and has helped to win three conference championships.
Individual Volunteer of the Year: Lucy Apolinar
Lucy coordinates fundraising activities for the Strings Booster Club, all parent volunteer activities for the Latino Arts Strings program and chaperones at Latino Arts events, concerts and solo festivals.
Mentor of the Year: Emeli-Mari Gaston-Friedl
A mother of three and recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee, Emeli has been a loyal UCC volunteer for the past three years as a panelist for the UCC Life Changers Talk Show, which helps teens navigate the many challenges they face, and a mentor in the UCC Summer Recreation Program.
In-Kind Donor Volunteers of the Year: St. Mary Parish of Menomonee Falls
Each year, St. Mary Parish of Menomonee Falls and two of their lead volunteers, Chris Oliver and Jenny Grieb, donate gifts to 1st through 5th grade BGCS students for the Three Kings Day celebration.
Volunteer Group of the Year: Youth Empowered to Succeed (YES) Program
The YES Program is a group of college mentors from Marquette University that spends time with BGCS students mentoring, tutoring and coaching sports. They act as role models to UCC youth throughout the year.
Volunteer Group of the Year: Carroll University Nursing Students
The Carroll University Nursing Program supports more than 1,300 students annually at the in-school Health Center where they educate staff and students on diabetes, asthma, allergy awareness and prevention, and basic first aid. Last year, they had a total of 4,615 student visits and contributed more than 2,400 volunteer hours.
Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year: US Bank
For 25 years, US Bank has been supporting UCC by helping to establish the UCC Kids Bank, participating in the United Way Season of Caring, donating books in support of the Reading is Fundamental program, and providing holiday gifts to seniors at the UCC Senior Center.
Thank you to all of our volunteers for their contributions and efforts, and congratulations to our Volunteer of the Year Award Winners!