A highlight of our year-end General Membership Meeting is always recognition of our outstanding volunteers. TheVolunteer Recognition Awards are presented to one Active, one Sustainer, and one New Member who in their current placements go above and beyond their placement requirements and embody the mission of the Junior League of Boston. This year, we are pleased to recognize Tara LePage, co-chair of Kids in the Kitchen, as our Active Volunteer award recipient. The text below was submitted as part of her nomination for the award. Congratulations, Tara!
Tara has been a dedicated volunteer with Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) for the past 4 years, co-chairing the program for the past 3. She is hands-down one of the strongest program chairs I’ve come across in my years in JL Boston. The role of a community program chair requires immense organizational and interpersonal skills; managing volunteers, students, parents, school staff, curriculum, field trips, outside speakers, food supplies, transportation and more. Tara, along with her co-chair Julie Gal-Or, expertly manages these program elements in an effective, engaging and impactful manner.
Tara is incredibly organized, reliable, full of enthusiasm, and tremendously dedicated to the program. She and Julie run KITK like a well-oiled machine. They have wonderful rapport with participants, parents, volunteers and the staff at Boston Renaissance Charter School in Hyde Park, where the program is held. Under Tara’s leadership, the program has thrived. She and Julie developed professionally printed KITK workbooks for their participants, complete with healthy recipes and fun nutritional activities for the kids to use at each session.
The sessions Tara and Julie plan balance physical wellness and adolescent nutrition and education, and have included:
- A Zumba class + “one food many ways” workshop
- An Urbanity dance class + scavenger hunt in grocery store to promote shopping around the perimeter vs. inner aisles (healthy vs. unhealthy food)
- A field trip to Boston Public Market for a pasta making class & taste of local food vendors.
The program serves 18 girls grades 3-5, all of whom are consistently excited to attend the KITK sessions. Tara and Julie also hold a year-end session that includes a celebratory lunch for parents and guardians of the girls, which has been a big hit.
Tara is always quick to lend a hand and help out with JL requests from Community and other committees. For example, her program was one of the only ones to supply student recipes and signed cards for the Gala, stay late after a session to give members a tour of KITK on the Placement Tour, supply photos of the program for Communications, and to give thorough, regular updates of their program in writing to the Community Council. Tara has also been an immensely helpful mentor to the JLB Arts chairs at BRCS, both of whom are new to their role/program/school and received lots of guidance from Tara.
Tara consistently goes above and beyond her placement requirements and truly embodies the mission of the Junior League of Boston. She is truly someone we can count on to deliver top-quality programming to participants and volunteers, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with her commitment to KITK.