by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director
Last week, Theatre Action Project was recognized for our participation with the Volunteer Project Leader Training program in 2010-2011. The program, launched through Hands on Central Texas (HOCT) a program of the United Way Capital Area, asked participating organizations to “transform casual volunteers into active community leaders.” As a trainer, TAP’s role was to guide volunteers with leadership training, tools, and support with the goal of helping each “VPL” complete their project successfully.
In a few month’s time, VPL’s executed a myriad of projects making a big impact for TAP, area schools and organizations in need. Tony Becker and Daniela Ruiz worked with Austin Community College’s The Big Read. Joe Carr supported rehearsals for Changing Lives Youth Ensemble. Researching, prepping and leading pre-show activities for children and families, part of TAP’s collaboration with the Paramount Theatre, were Katie Van Winkle, Kimberly Gdula,
Racimony Hun, Alejandra Garcia, Kelsey McGonigle, Ana Vargas, Rachel Frey, Laura Fidelman and Annie Hsu.
Leading volunteer projects in media relations, photo cataloging, administrative projects, and community events were Sabina Peerbhai, Yiling Wu, Rachel Suniga Osborn, Elizabeth Veroneau, Tyler Jarvis, Tram-Anh Huynh, Aurora Mayte Salazar-Ordoriez, Michelle Huynh, Sammie Sheppard, and Linda Kennedy.
VPL Victoria Daughtery immersed herself in a mural project for Webb Elementary working with the Austin Independent School District, teachers, and inspiring and gathering volunteers. The final mural was created from a collage of winning artwork selected through a contest of student drawings.
The Monday after the project, Webb’s Art teacher emailed me thanking my team for our efforts. Apparently each student walked into the cafeteria that morning pointing toward the mural, picking which picture was their design and identifying with the characters displayed saying, “That’s me!”
VPL’s are great examples of TAP’s 4th C. As Confident Leaders they:
- Demonstrate community consciousness by designing creative projects aimed at addressing a need in that community,
- Set goals and make plans to achieve them
- Inspire and encourage others, and
- Show resiliency in times of challenge.