Mollie Norcross Given Governor's Award for Outstanding Voluntary Community Services
A Johnson State College student has won the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Community Services for her work with a voluntary after-school program.
Mollie Norcross was honored by Gov. Jim Douglas at a brunch award ceremony at the State House in Montpelier on Saturday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m.
Norcross, aged 22, is a senior majoring in psychology and a non-profit management certificate, and is from Honolulu, Hawaii.
She won the award for her work as a volunteer/youth specialist with Club Johnson for a little over a year.
Club Johnson is a college out-of-school program for 3rd-6th graders at nearby Johnson Elementary School. Students are served by Club Johnson if they have two of the following characteristics:
- Demonstrate behavioral challenges in the school/community
- Have a parent who is or has been incarcerated
- Have a risk of academic failure
Norcross assists Club Johnson Program Director Jude Mathison in various activities which strive to help the kids build a sense of belonging in their community, and develop social and problem-solving skills. Students have used the ropes course at Johnson State College, participated in Green up day in Johnson, and carry out team-building games for the group.
Norcross also helped write a $2,500 grant the program was awarded for a four-week series titled "Back to Nature."
"For almost a year, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with youth in Club Johnson, or Club J.," said Norcross. "It is a blast hanging out with the youth and helping them help themselves. They are great youth that happen to need a little extra help when controlling emotions and behaviors. We help the youth find strategies to help themselves self-regulate, specifically in group and peer situations.
"I love volunteering with Club J. and learning from the youth and other staff. Club J. has been a stress reliever most of the time and is something I look forward to. It is always a new dynamic and adventure.
"Receiving this award is an honor, even the nomination itself by Jude Mathison. I was surprised, prior to this, unaware that there was such an award," Norcross added.
"As her direct supervisor,” said Mathison, "I can say that Mollie is such an asset to Club Johnson. She goes above and beyond what is expected of our volunteers, and she takes time to listen and to understand the population of kids that we work with."