As a new year of BranchOut! is just around the corner, we wanted to reflect on a tremendous honor our students were awarded for their exceptional work at the James Lee Community Center during the summer of 2018.
Our Multicultural STEM Mentoring Program accepted the Gold Star Group volunteer award from the Fairfax Neighborhood and Community Services organization. Our student mentors were "recognized for demonstrating outstanding commitment to their community by contributing a significant amount of volunteer time and talents to a program, service, or facility as a group."
BranchOut! is an award-winning youth community service program that allows students to show their talent, passion, and leadership skills through engaging in real world activities that make a difference. Through BranchOut!, student mentors learn to be mature young adults by leaving their comfort zones. Students learn how to work with other student leaders from different schools, gaining a crucial life skill for their futures.
It is hard to believe that just 4 summers ago, we were a small team of 20 students.
This year, we are welcoming 130+ students into our cohort. Our student mentors come from 7 counties and 36 schools this year, and we could not have achieved this without the support of our community.
As we head into a fresh year for BranchOut! We would like to share some recent developments of BranchOut! with you:
- We are now a partner of Department of Neighborhood and Human Service of Fairfax County to serve more community centers,
- We received a Gold Star Award for Fairfax County volunteering organizations; we were one of two volunteering organizations awarded with the honor,
- We expanded collaboration with both FCPS in Virginia and MCPS in Maryland to serve more campuses,
- We established the first local chapter - Howard County Chapter,
- We formed a School Club of BranchOut! at Oakton High School, VA (Thank you, Lawrence Zhu, an 11th grader at Oakton HS, for your persistence in making this a reality!),
- We received confirmation that the U.S Senator Tim Kaine will grant Congressional certificates to students with outstanding performance, and
- We are in the process of applying to the Maryland's Governor's Service Award.
With all these achievements, we are confident that BranchOut! will be making even more impact to the communities around us.
Are you interesting in joining BranchOut! for the 2020 summer season?
Applications open: 1/20/2020
Visit www.velbranchout.org for more information!