Friday, May 31, 2013

Volunteers of the Month: May

Every month our Volunteer Office sorts through piles of nominations from supervisors and honors one of our volunteers for their truly stupendous efforts. Meet our Volunteer of the Month!

Choosing the Volunteer of the Month is not an easy feat. With nearly 1,000 active service members, not only are they great in numbers but they are great people too. The Volunteer Office first tasks supervisors with picking among their volunteer team for top performers. The Volunteer Office then chooses from the cream of the crop. And boy, oh boy, do we have a stellar volunteer to announce today. Readers of the Aquarium's blogs, please help me congratulation a fantastic young man:

May Volunteer of the Month: Ian Smith!

Here’s his nomination from his supervisor Andrew:
Ian Smith, May's Volunteer of the Month
One of the greatest aspects of our facility is the profound ability to captivate our audience, leaving them awestruck and inspired by the natural world.  The same rings true for our volunteers, who find themselves so enthralled by our mission that they donate countless hours of their time, not only to aid in realizing our mission but also to gain firsthand experience on the inner workings of the organization itself. My favorite part of being a supervisor for volunteers is seeing that moment unfold where an individual realizes how truly amazing our work is! Ian Smith is the perpetual embodiment of that moment. Ian’s quiet enthusiasm for our work is nothing short of humbling, which compounded with his dedication, unflappable work ethic and attention to detail is staggering to say the least.  He is always eager to learn, taking on tasks with zeal, and is, without question, reliable beyond his years; every Sunday morning, rain, snow or shine, he comes in with a smile and a “can-do” attitude! That all being said, Ian is only 18, has just graduated high school with a focus on environmental science, and without a question will move on to do great things in our field.

Honestly, I have sat down to type up this email for the past few nominations but had been unable to articulate just how very proud I am to have Ian as a volunteer in Freshwater. There have been so many instances over the past several months where Ian has gone above and beyond to warrant this nomination that it is far too difficult to encapsulate in just one mere example. Perhaps the best way to end this Ode to Ian is to revisit that moment of self reflection we all experience: when Ian first walked into the gallery, eliciting an instantaneous “Awesome!”.  From then on, I am sure every step Ian takes in this building is with immense joy to be here.  For myself, it has been great having such a fantastic individual to work alongside, who truly inspires me to appreciate my role at the Aquarium.
Congratulations to this aspiring aquarist!

The Aquarium could not operate the same way without our volunteers and we are incredibly grateful to those who spend over 109,000 hours in service annually. You can find out firsthand how awesome our volunteers are by visiting us! Many of our volunteers are on the floor interpreting our galleries and our animals. Not to mention, many staff members got their feet wet in a volunteer or intern never know where an interest may turn into a career!

Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

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