Gloria began college at the age of 46, where she was immediately drawn to the mission and vision of the Madison College Volunteer Center. The Volunteer Center is student-run, student-driven organization on campus that connects students with service opportunities throughout the district.
Gloria's legacy with will be the development of the Service Learning Academy which commits students to volunteer for 8 weeks with the same agency. The program has grown substantially in short period of time and her work with faculty will ensure the program continues for years to come to not only benefit future leaders but most importantly the communities the agencies serve.
Gloria is an amazing individual and coupled with not having a full-time advisor has challenged her skills and she has consistently risen to the challenge.
I have also been impressed with Gloria's ability to motivate younger students to accept leadership roles and inspire them to make a difference at Madison College and in the community. Gloria's ability to "inspire a shared vision" is a skill that will be difficult to replace once she transfers to UW-Madison to pursue her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Social Work.
Most people say that when you reach a certain age in life, you are supposed to know your passions and live a life fulfilling those passions. I entered college later in life to pursue my educational dreams and found my passion along the way. I met one of the student advisors in the Volunteer Center at the college and she awakened something in me that I didn't even know existed. The ability to give back. In between my studies and work, I made the time for helping others initially as a student volunteer which led to my leadership role as Executive Director of Directors at Madison Area Technical College.
Friendship is probably one of the most common things one could value, and for good reason. Friends are, essentially, the family you choose. I have made new friends as a student volunteer and have been able to influence them to become more involved in serving the communities we live, work and attend school. With the help of these friends, in 2016, I was able to create the Service Learning Academy that now serves more than 80 students, tripled in size in 3 semesters.