26 Feb Lighthouse Student Volunteer Recognized at Paterson Awards Breakfast
On Monday, January 21, 2019, Lighthouse staff attended the Paterson Youth Council’s 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recognition Awards Breakfast to see one of our youngest volunteers honored. While only four students were selected for the award, eighteen-year-old Maria Mazariegos was one of the outstanding youth nominated and recognized for their service to the community.
Maria, a high school senior at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, has been volunteering at our Paterson Center since the summer of 2017. She originally came to fulfill her school’s community service requirement, however, she became so dedicated to the mission of Lighthouse that she continued volunteering long after her requirement was complete. In the past 18 months, Maria has volunteered for over 100 hours.
According to Lighthouse Center Manager Maggie Morales, Maria always goes the extra mile and has shown a great work ethic. Through her time at Lighthouse, she has cultivated her interpersonal, leadership and creative skills. “It has been a joy to watch Maria grow and we are so thankful to have her on our team!” shared Maggie.
Maria’s dedication reflects the commitment of all our Lighthouse volunteers, whose faithfulness makes our free services possible in three locations, open a total of six days per week. In 2018, over 100 women, men and teens donated a total of 8,100 service hours to Lighthouse. During 2018, the Center staffed over 6,500 appointments in Paterson, Hackensack and Wayne. Our volunteer team represents a diverse group of individuals from junior high school students and college interns to those with professional careers who volunteer evening and weekend hours, from retirees to stay-at-home moms who utilize babysitters to serve weekly as peer counselors. Our volunteer work force also include teams of students and church groups who come together to support special projects like our Baby Bottle Boomerang, or special programs like our YoungLives Paterson outreach to teen moms. We are so thankful for everyone who regularly gives their time and talents to bring love to life at Lighthouse! The Center’s life-enhancing services and ongoing parenting support would not be possible without the teamwork of our dedicated volunteers and staff.