The volunteer of the year award is given to a volunteer who not only helps us work towards our vision and mission, but also contributes to our learner, volunteer, and staff community. This year’s winner, Patricia Bornhym, began with DLN in the early 2000s and in that time made a big impression on our current and two former Community Learning Program coordinators.
Zoë Mitchell, CLP Coordinator 2004 to 2016: Patricia is a volunteer who consistently goes above and beyond in her contributions to DLN. During my time at DLN — along with being a very active volunteer tutor — Patricia often volunteered time and energy to our celebrations and fundraising events. From serving food, to organizing office supplies and helping distribute books, Pat was always there to support DLN on its mission of promoting lifelong learning and serving our community. Over her numerous years at DLN, Patricia has provided support to many students on their learning journeys; students studying GED-level material to earn their diploma, improving their basic reading and spelling skills and improving their comfort with basic numeracy. Patricia is a versatile tutor and an extraordinary volunteer who also brings a brightness to our learning space. We have been truly lucky to have Patricia for a number of years and are blessed she continues to contribute her talent and time to our community.
Tyler Colbourne, CLP Coordinator 2016 to February 2018: Patricia Bornhym was a huge support during my time at DLN. Sometimes people support you in ways you expect or in ways you have asked, and Patricia was always ready to support when she was asked. However, I found I most benefited from the ways she would support when I didn't ask. She always knew the right time to lend a hand, ask a thoughtful question or just be present and available. I think what fuels Patricia is the drive to share joy and compassion. She brought this with her to her one-to-one match, our community events and even to our potlucks. DLN is extremely lucky to have Patricia Bornhym as a volunteer.
Gail Thistle, current CLP Coordinator: Patricia was the first volunteer I met when I joined DLN this past March. Her caring nature and thoughtfulness was obvious during that first conversation. She demonstrates compassion and sensitivity to our learner’s situations and often goes above and beyond to support them in their learning journeys. Often thinking outside the box, Patricia finds creative solutions to learning challenges. She does indeed light up the room with her presence, and especially her smile. We are very fortunate to have Patricia on our team of dedicated volunteers. As one of her learner’s put it, “She’s awesome!” We certainly agree.