The 8th Annual OUSD Volunteer Recognition Ceremony was held on Saturday, May 14th, at the Edoff Memorial Bandstand in Lakeside Park.
This year, 380 parent and community volunteers were nominated by school and partner organization staff to be recognized for serving at least 40 hours of their time to support students at their school sites with reading, attendance, and school culture.
Special recognition was given to three volunteers who were nominated as "Volunteer of the Year" for contributing at least 100 hours of service to their schools: Virginia Cruz, Noemi Alvarado, and Rosa Pocasangre.
Virginia Cruz was nominated for the award by two separate staff members at Bridges Academy, a teacher and community school manager. Serving as SSC president at her school, she’s always willing to go above and beyond to advocate for parents. One of her nominators highlighted Virginia’s work: “(Virginia) Cruz has made an impact in bringing together a community of hard working parents. She currently meets with parents about issues, runs the SSC meetings and invites leaders to help problem solve in our community”
Noemi Alvarado is a volunteer with Friends of Oakland Public School Libraries (FOPSL), supporting many school sites in Oakland, including Place at Prescott, Bridges Academy, and McClymonds HS. Noemi has supported Oakland school libraries, in the absence of staff, which has improved student access to books. Her nominator kindly wrote, “She will best be honored for her quality work and care of young children, in guiding them how to use a library and how to find a book they will love. Her leadership, repeatedly, in stepping up when no one else was available says a lot about her character and her belief in the importance of library access to all children.”
Rosa Pocasangre is a volunteer at Skyline High and advocate for student attendance. Serving as a parent patrol coordinator and phone banking lead, Rosa is always willing to support families with anything they may need, especially building relationships with other parents to engage them with on-campus activities.
Partner Organization of the Year
Staff at school sites nominated four total organizations for the Partner Organization of the Year award, with Boost! West Oakland being selected for its commitment to Oakland students at Lafayette elementary. Boost! West Oakland provides 96 students with volunteer tutors every week, and they’ve supported the school for 19 years.
Franklin Phillips, a staff member at Lafayette elementary, nominated Boost! West Oakland for the award, stating, “They have had a tremendous impact on the culture bringing in an energetic and friendly staff to help impact student learning and overall achievement.”
OUSD is thankful for Boost! West Oakland for their commitment to student success. As Franklin highlighted, “I think every school deserves the kind of organization that can deploy dozens of volunteers to impact the academic outcomes of the students in West Oakland.” OUSD thanks all partner organizations that are committed to the reading excellence of our students.
Call to Service Awards
The final awards included in the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony were the 2nd Annual Call to Service awards.
The first award went to Annette Miller for her selfless dedication to the entire West Oakland community, especially students and families at McClymonds High. Annette has gone above and beyond in advocating for the rights of families and community members, encouraging parent leadership, and supporting the office of Student, Family, and Community Engagement.
A second Call to Service Award went to MetWest student leader, Citlali Espinoza, for her ongoing advocacy for student voice. Citlali was the first student volunteer to be honored at the district Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.
OUSD thanks all parent, community, and student volunteers for their continued dedication to ensure all students thrive!
Download our event program for a full list of recognized volunteers, award nominees, and more...