Four local volunteers recognized in 27th annual college awards

Awards given in youth, individual, senior and group categories

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
Nancy Shepherd of the San Juan College Volunteer Center speaks during the annual volunteer awards and service learning reception Thursday at San Juan College in Farmington.
  • The Kirtland Central High School football team won the group award.
  • Individual volunteer of the year winner Ed Bulloch has served with the American Red Cross for 61 years.
  • An Aztec High School senior was recognized for outstanding work as a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer.

FARMINGTON — San Juan College recognized outstanding volunteers throughout the Four Corners during the 27th annual volunteer awards and service learning reception on Thursday.

San Juan College Volunteer Center advisory board member Nancy Shepherd thanked award winners and nominees “for making a world of difference to all of those you served in 2017 and who you will continue to serve hopefully in the years to come.”

“It is that unity of community (and) that coming together with each other to make a difference — that combines to better our communities and to serve those who need it most,” Shepherd said during the ceremony. “We are a community of volunteers who, together, add up to more than the sum of our parts, and capturing those efforts in one room and celebrating together is why we are here.”

Awards were given in youth, individual, senior and group categories to volunteers working with several different organizations throughout San Juan County over the course of 2017, Shepherd said.

Youth winner Dylan Olsen is recognized on Thursday during the annual volunteer awards and service learning reception at San Juan College in Farmington.

Aztec High School senior Dylan Olsen won the youth award in recognition of his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, especially for being an outstanding role model to his “little brother” in the aftermath of the Aztec High School shooting, according to information from college spokeswoman Lucy Haber.

Ed Bulloch of the American Red Cross is recognized as a winner Thursday during the annual volunteer awards and service learning reception at San Juan College in Farmington.

Ed Bulloch won the individual award in recognition of his work with the American Red Cross. He has worked and volunteered with the organization for more 61 years, including as the disaster chairman for the state of New Mexico. He has been deployed to several natural disasters, including hurricanes Irma and Harvey in 2017, according to Haber.

Senior volunteer of the year Rafaelita Aguilar, left, of Northwest New Mexico Seniors poses for a portrait with Sarah Oliver, program coordinator with the Community Learning Center at San Juan College, on Thursday.

Rafaelita Aguilar won the senior award in recognition of her work with Northwest New Mexico Seniors as a companion volunteer. She has volunteered with seniors since 2014, and she logged more than 1,000 hours of service in fiscal year 2017, according to Haber.

The Kirtland Central High School football team won the group award in recognition of its work with the Lower Valley Senior Center. The team provided companionship, meal help and cleaning services to the Fruitland senior center, according to Haber.

A total of 25 individuals or groups were nominated by 15 local organizations for the awards, according to the program guide.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.