Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Thu09182014

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Guam praised for volunteerism

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A VISITING official from the University of Massachusetts praised the people of Guam for their passion in getting involved in community projects and taking care of their family members with disabilities.

The 2010 Guahan Conference on Volunteerism and Service held last Saturday at the Marriott Hotel drew a huge crowd of volunteers across the island.
Photo by Zita Taitano

Paula Sotnik, a speaker at the 2010 Guahan Conference on Volunteerism and Service held last Saturday at the Marriott Hotel, said she is amazed at the spirit of volunteerism that the people of Guam is showing to their community.
Sotnik, the director of the National Service Inclusion Institute Project Institute for Community Inclusion from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said visiting Guam is an eye-opener for her.
“I learned more than I taught. I was brought in to do training and technical assistance, but it was such an education for me to learn about the island, about people and about how people with disabilities are involved because that’s what my business is,” she said.
The Serve Guahan Commission, in conjunction with the Guahan Volunteer Center, Corporation for National & Community Service, the University of Guam, AmeriCorps Guahan, AmeriCorps Alums, and AmeriCorps VISTA, sponsored the event that gathered about 300 participants, according to Doris Aguon, program manager of the commission.
Aguon said the conference will further strengthen the resolve of community volunteers to be actively involved in different projects.
“There are a lot of positive outcomes from the presentations that are going on,” she said.
Jay Rojas, president of the Guam Young Professionals, Guam Chamber of Commerce, was the keynote speaker,

Volunteers from various non-profit  and AmeriCorps organizations split up in about nine groups and each were asked to provide input on issues that affect Guam and propose solutions to handle those particular issues. They included helping the island’s homeless population and dealing with invasive species.