Two Volunteers Receive Prestigious Ethic of Service Awards
DANBURY, CT -- United Way of Western Connecticut is proud to announce that its Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) affiliate has once again been named a Gold Level program. The program has been cited for its excellence five years in a row and is only one of 14 YVC programs throughout the U.S. and Canada to receive this top honor. In 2019, the program engaged 140 youth, ages 11 to 18, from across the Danbury region, conducting service projects that benefited nonprofit agencies, municipal parks, senior centers, and food pantries.
The program has consistently achieved top honors under the leadership of YVC Program Director, Morgan Browne, who has been involved in the program since 2013 and has been overseeing the program since 2016.
Additionally, two youth volunteers, Emma Kiernan and Connor Parille, received the Ethic of Service award for completing 500 hours of service with the program. Connor is from Danbury and Emma is from Ridgefield. Both serve on the organization’s Youth Advisory Board.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Emma and Connor since 2014 and feel very lucky to have watched them learn, grow, and inspire,” said Ms. Browne. “Both Emma and Connor have had a huge impact on our community, their peers, and me.”
Connor’s mother, Lisa Parille, explained that her son’s involvement in YVC has had a positive impact on her whole family. She has been impressed with the broad spectrum of activities he has been involved in beginning in sixth grade—from working on a farm, to restoring tombstones, to packing food for people who are less fortunate.
“From a parental perspective, he pretty much has had all sorts of opportunities that we could never have provided, and that has definitely enriched his life,” she says.
In the coming year, YVC youth will serve more than 30 agencies, focusing on projects related to compassionate communities, healthy lifestyles, arts, culture, and education.
YVC Headquarters works with each YVC Affiliate to ensure that they are serving the youth and their community in the best way possible. The Gold Level rating goes only to the very top YVC programs that serve as stand-out examples for how the program can serve its community.
- Provides safe, meaningful activities in the after-school hours
- Cultivates leadership qualities
- Provides youth with awareness of social issues impacting the greater Danbury area
- Promotes an understanding of environmental issues
Gold Level Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Makes a Difference for Youth and the Community – Pictured from left to right: Connor Parille, Ethic of Service Award recipient; Morgan Browne, YVC Program Director; and Emma Kiernan, Ethic of Service Award recipient. Connor and Emma both completed 500 hours of service with YVC.
About United Way of Western Connecticut
United Way of Western Connecticut improves the lives of hard-working, struggling households by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. We help residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County, and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health. We are committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable, and every community we serve is healthy and strong. We are particularly focused on a population that United Way identifies as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in our communities. A United Way report published in September 2018 revealed that in Connecticut, more than 1 in 3 households has earnings above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Combined with those who are struggling below poverty level, 40% of all households in the state are experiencing ﬁnancial hardship. By leveraging the collective power of the community, we are focused on creating an environment where individuals and families are self-sufficient and can achieve financial independence.
United Way of Western Connecticut