Zoumenou receives President's Volunteer Service Award

  • Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Zoumenou 023.jpgPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (June 23, 2011) - Dr. Virginie Zoumenou of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is one of 56 recipients of the President's Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of exceptional volunteer service.

    "These recipients of the President's Volunteer Service Award are role models for all Americans," said Kristi Burnham, director, community partnerships, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  "Each volunteer hour contributed makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others, and I encourage everyone to contribute to our community by volunteering.  Volunteers bring us closer together as families, as communities and as a nation through their commitment."

    A farmer-to-farmer assignment in Nigeria led Zoumenou, a certified nutrition specialist, licensed dietitian and 1890 Family Consumer Science program leader at UMES, to serve as a Winrock International volunteer in January of this year.  She conducted hands-on training sessions over a three-week period for caregivers, ages 16 to 60, of HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. Her goal was teaching them skills aimed at increasing their income and providing nutritious food. 

    The project was funded by the USAID, Winrock International and EUCORD/WEWE/Children of Hope organizations.

    The award is available annually to individuals, groups and families who meet or exceed requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.  As one of thousands of certifying organizations participating in the award program, Winrock International confers the award to recognize its volunteers' outstanding achievements.

    The award is issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created in 2003 by President George W. Bush to recognize the contributions volunteers make to our nation.  Chaired by two-time Super Bowl Champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the council is comprised of leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits, volunteer service organizations and community volunteering.

    Visit http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov for more information about the President's Volunteer Service Award and how to identify  volunteer opportunities.  Call 410-651-6084 for more information about Zoumenou and her nutrition education work on the lower Eastern Shore.

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    Suzanne Waters Street, agriculture communication specialist, UMES - University of Maryland Extension, 410-651-6084, sstreet@umes.edu.