Clayton State University Health Care Management graduate (August 2009) Kawanda Taylor (College Park) was recently recognized as the 2009 Volunteer of the Year for AID Atlanta.
“It means a lot to me to become 2009 Volunteer of the Year for the AIDS WALK,” Taylor says. “As I volunteered throughout the weeks, I began to enjoy my duties as volunteer more and more. Also, I became part of a family because of the warmth and generosity of the volunteers and staff at AID Atlanta. I learn more by giving my time for a great cause which makes me want to advocate the importance of prevention and education of AIDS/HIV. That itself is the beauty of volunteer because you learn the importance of giving back to community.”
Taylor became involved with AID Atlanta with a course titled AIDS Epidemic at Clayton State University in the summer of 2008.
“I had to go to a workshop, AIDS 101, as part of the curriculum for the AIDS Epidemic course,” Taylor says. “AID Atlanta was a sponsor for this workshop. It was an awesome experience because of the brutal honesty about AIDS/HIV and the importance of teaching prevention and education to HIV/AIDS. It sparked my interest in volunteering and to learn more about public health.
“During this past summer, I did phone banking concerning the upcoming 2009 AIDS WALK to remind previous walkers and runners about the event. I did a lot of administrative/clerical work for the event by updating walkers’ and runners’ information. I worked in the mailroom to send out postcards to remind everybody about the event, and I was also part of the Kickoff party for the 2009 AIDS WALK event by being a parking attendant. On the day of the event, I was a T-shirt and ticket girl who gave these items to volunteers for the event.”
Taylor adds that the most rewarding part about receiving this honor was seeing Clayton State Assistant Professor of Health Care Management Deborah Gritzmacher, who is also a board member of AID Atlanta, in the audience and cheering for her when she received the honor.
“Ever since I have been in the Health Care Management program she has been my champion,” says Taylor of Gritzmacher. “It is a great honor to do something that I really enjoy and love and to receive recognition from people who would not know my name, but who saw me every week as a volunteer. This is truly a blessing to think about others. That is the way it's supposed to be.”