Project HOPE 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards
Volunteers are the key to our lifesaving work. We are grateful to all who generously give their time and expertise to help make a difference around the world. Every year, we honor our volunteers through the Volunteer of the Year Awards. You can help vote. Please get to know our five nominees for 2018 and cast your vote!
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This time of year, we honor and celebrate our volunteers, without whom our work would not be possible! Five volunteers who have gone particularly above and beyond in numerous ways, have been nominated to become our Gold, Silver, or Bronze 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Learn more about them and their amazing contribution to our lifesaving mission.
Meet Our Nominees
Nurse. Purcellville, Virginia. Volunteered 1200 hours in 2018.
Carolyn has a long history with Project HOPE. In the past, she’s worked with Project HOPE as an employee, consultant, and volunteer. As a consultant, she assessed and developed a maternal child health program in Sierra Leone. She cares so deeply about Project HOPE’s programs and work, that she continued to serve in a volunteer capacity. She never really stops at an assignment; rather, she works towards the goal around the clock, going above and beyond her duties to ensure the programs’ success.
“I have always respected HOPE’s international engagement and the development of health and education programs. HOPE’s approach to entering each country through consensus building and identification of local counterparts is key to its long-term success and in keeping with international values.”
Carolyn is a health professional with over 30 years of experience in international health facility and community-based program management, capacity building and service delivery. She has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. and a Master of Arts in Nursing from the University of Iowa in Iowa.
Videographer. Brooklyn, New York. Volunteered 64 hours in 2018.
Austin Wideman served this year with Project HOPE in Puerto Rico, covering Project HOPE’s post hurricane Maria recovery work. He shot and produced the video of HOPE beneficiary Nayeli, allowing Nayeli and her family to tell their story of HOPE with the world. This was Austin’s second time serving with Project HOPE. His prior experience included serving in Indonesia.
“Every time I volunteer I learn more of the sacrificial love and care that others possess. I’m humbled by seeing this play out in humanitarian efforts through Project HOPE’s work!”
Austin traveled over a holiday weekend working through multiple hours of interviews per day, filming and photographing all aspects of Project HOPE’s beneficiaries, staff and partners in order to give our beneficiaries a voice. Following this trip, Austin spent many hours of time editing footage for the videos, reading through transcripts, making edits and working on graphics. In addition, he has volunteered to help Project HOPE by putting together the remaining videos telling stories from Puerto Rico.
Austin is currently a videographer/photographer for The Salvation Army Greater NY Division. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Media and Communications from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Nurse. Maine. Volunteered 96 hours in 2018.
Nicole served with Project HOPE in Puerto Rico and Guatemala, and has served with us in Nicaragua in the past. Beyond her role as a healthcare provider on the response team, Nicole consistently stepped up to fill other needs on the team. She not only generated a list of medications needed for the mobile medical teams, but also created a standardized template to assist in tracking of the medication inventory and a format for other providers to request needed medications. Nicole followed this “system strengthening” approach throughout her volunteer service, thinking not only about her individual role, but taking a big-picture approach that resulted in better care for patients, a more efficient process for the team and facilitated bonds between team members as they worked together towards a common goal.
“In the midst of outreach, I have seen terrible loss and sadness. I have also seen incredible bravery, hope, and success. Working with people who are struggling and helping them move forward towards the hope of healing motivates me.”
To better her skills as an expert emergency responder, she also joined HOPE in the emergency response training simulation in partnership with Humanitarian U, which took place on HOPE’s campus.
Nicole has been an Advance Practice Registered Nurse since May 2014 and earned her Masters in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine.
Sheila Cardwell Grisard
Nurse. Social worker. Salt Lake City, Utah. Volunteered 112 hours in 2018.
Sheila volunteered with Project HOPE this year in Guatemala and last year in Puerto Rico. She has been on several previous missions serving as a nurse. She has a deep humanitarian spirit that can be felt through every interaction with those around her. Rather than just completing the basic expectations for a volunteer, Sheila brings a deeply grounded and heartfelt commitment to making a difference that makes her stand out as the brightest among shining stars.
“I have learned that each person brings to the volunteer mission their own set of skills and personality traits, and everyone has something to offer the person in need. Together we form a team that can make a huge difference to the victims in need.”
Sheila is a registered nurse at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, and studied at the University of New York in Albany, N.Y.
Physician. Texas. Volunteered 96 hours in 2018.
Jabnely served with Project HOPE in Puerto Rico and Guatemala. A very talented, driven, and flexible volunteer, Jabnely is always ready to to do whatever she can to help. She deployed to Puerto Rico as a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) volunteer, even though she is a medical doctor. At that moment, Project HOPE needed volunteers for WASH education and she agreed to take on this role.
“I’m a team worker and that is an advantage to accomplish great things. Diversity make us strong.”
In 2018, Jabnely contacted Project HOPE shortly after the Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupted and once again offered her help. Just a few days later, she was on the ground responding with HOPE for the second time in a few months.
Jabnely is an international medical graduate from the Universidad de Montemorelos. She has her medical license from Mexico and is a certified medical assistant by the American Registry of Medical Assistants.