Orlando, Fla. – Junior Achievement of Central Florida (JA) recently presented Walt Disney World and the University of Central Florida (UCF) with the 2012 U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award – Gold level, which recognizes organizations that provide at least 15,000 service hours to their community.
“Walt Disney World and UCF are our largest supporters in Central Florida,” said Craig Polejes, president of Junior Achievement of Central Florida. “We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize and honor them for their long-standing commitment to help young people make a connection between the classroom and a successful future in the workforce.”
Last year, nearly 5,000 Disney VoluntEARS raised more than $250,000 through JA’s annual Bowl-A-Thon. The money helped fund JA programs that focus on financial literacy, workforce readiness, the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship skills.
“We’re honored that Junior Achievement would recognize the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS at Walt Disney World Resort,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations at Walt Disney World Resort. “Our VoluntEARS demonstrate their commitment to the children of Central Florida in many ways, including the support of community organizations like JA that inspire and improve children’s lives so that they can reach their highest potential.”
This is the fifth year in a row that UCF has been honored with this national award. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 2,000 UCF volunteers contributed more than 35,000 hours to help implement JA’s economic curriculum in 160 Central Florida schools – reaching nearly 38,000 children.
“We are so honored to be one of only 33 national partners to receive this prestigious award,” said Fred Kittinger, associate vice president of university relations at UCF and past JA board chairman. “We look forward to giving back to our community through volunteer work and strengthening our partnership with JA.
The U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award is presented on behalf of President Barack Obama. The award is part of a national recognition program created in 2003 through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for individuals of all ages who contribute a significant amount of time to volunteer activities.