On a weekday afternoon in KYCC’s Treehouse, head volunteer Antonio “Tony” Rhee is testing rockets. Small groups of middle school students, armed with duct tape and glue, vie for his attention in the “Rocket Launchers” workshop that Rhee developed and implemented.
“I was told that KYCC was looking for a high school volunteer who would be an older sibling to the middle school students,” Rhee said. “I really took that to heart.”
With his exceptional dedication and work ethic, Rhee helped KYCC win a $25,000 HALO Award from The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation. The highly competitive award is granted to both a nonprofit organization and a winning volunteer to recognize those who go “above and beyond” to promote the betterment of their communities.
The HALO Award is comprised of two elements: a $20,000 grant for KYCC to strengthen, implement and sustain volunteer efforts, and a $5,000 award for the winning volunteer.
“KYCC is honored to receive the prestigious 2013 HALO Award, and to be recognized for our deep commitment to community engagement,”said KYCC Executive Director Johng Ho Song. “With this grant, we intend to build our volunteer program to be a sustainable and successful model.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rhee came to the U.S. with his mother when he was 8 years old. He started volunteering as a tutor at KYCC’s Crossroads Middle School Program (MSP) when he was a freshman in high school. Currently a second-year student at UCLA and a “DREAMer,”