Diana Marrero, a Dedham resident and 13-year veteran at the Schoen Family Community Children's Center out of Dorchester, was honored for her efforts as part of the Horizons for Homeless Children and was recently awarded the 2012 Sue Heilman Award for Excellence.
Horizons for Homeless Children was founded in 1988 as a non-profit dedicated to aiding homeless children and their families with such achievements as building roughly 150 play structures throughout the commonwealth and recruiting some 14,000 volunteers, presented Marrero with this accolade at its 16th Annual Recognition and Awards Dinner that took place June 26 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. Overall, the event honored the 1,500 Playspace Activity Leaders (PAL volunteers) that devote a portion of their time each week to the company of homeless children.
According to a press release issued by Horizons, Marrero was selected for her “positive energy” adding: “Diana’s ability to maintain positive relationships with such a large and diverse staff is just one example of the quality of her character and her infectious spirit. Diana is eager to learn and deepen her knowledge of child development and ‘best practices’.”
The release went on to mentioned, “[Marrero] has a profound respect for the parents and extended family members and works closely with them to ensure that the children in her care thrive and grow. Diana is proactive and a problem solver. She contributes significantly to the work of the agency as a whole by being a team player and engaging in activities and events.”
Speaking with Marrero of her recent accomplishment she had the following to express: “it was a great honor […] I have been here for 13 years because I want to help families and care for those in shelters to grow and contribute to their future and or our cities'.”
Marrero related her connection to helping the needy to her youth growing up in Puetro Rico and helping in other ways besides just providing her time when she explained, “I was inspired by one of my teachers in Puerto Rico […] when I think about my childhood, I want to be a model for children today and be there for families, young mothers and young families […] we not only help young families with food and shelter, but language and other skills and how they can help their children.”
Congratulations to Marrero on this recent accomplishment and all she has done in the past to make a marked gain in the battle against homelessness and supporting the needy in Massachusetts.
Those interested in following in Marrero's footsteps and would like to volunteer with Horizons for Homeless Children; please visit their website by clicking here.