By Jeff Bunch
EWU’s Gabrielle “Gabby” Ryan, soon-to-be interim program coordinator for the Office of Community Engagement, has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Community Service from President Obama for serving more than 4,000 volunteer hours in her lifetime.
“Congratulations Gabby, thank you for your commitment and dedication to our community,” said Chuck Lopez, EWU Vice Provost, Undergraduate Studies and Student Success.
Ryan completed the hours during her two years in working at Eastern as the AmeriCorps VISTA/Eagle Volunteers Program Coordinator – an assignment she will complete at the end of August. She will then move into a new role with OCE.
“I’ve spent the last two years at Eastern really investing in the community and seeing it grow alongside our community agencies that we work with and the students who’ve invested a lot of their time,” said Ryan. “It’s been amazing to see that growth happen and I fully expect to spend plenty more hours than 4,000 hours here in Cheney and Spokane and I look forward to it.”
Some of the highlights of Ryan’s work during her two years while serving at EWU:
- 4, 729 volunteers recruited;
- 13,007 hours served by volunteers (monetary value of hours served, $244,141.39);
- $61,844 of in-kind donations collected;
- 47 nonprofit agencies directly received capacity-building services by the VISTA member;
- 2,500-plus disadvantaged children received mentoring and/or food assistance;
- 70-plus veterans received food assistance;
- 270-plus military family members received services;
- more than 120 at-risk youth in the Cheney School District were mentored by 100-plus EWU students; and
- 40,720 pounds of food have been distributed into the community (total value, $61,080)
“I feel very much connected to the Eastern family,” said Ryan, who came to Cheney from her home in Florida two years ago. “I’m very excted to stay here at Eastern and in the Office of Community Engagement because it’s just doing amazing things for the community.”
Ryan and the OCE staff are busy finalizing the details of the annual Eagle UP community effort where EWU faculty, staff and students fan into into the community for a variety of service projects. In 2014, the effort saw 213 volunteers give 639 service hours. This year’s goals are 280 volunteers and more than 850 service hours.
For more information about the award go to: http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/the-award.