DUBLIN-CA–Dublin elected officials, led by Mayor Melissa Hernandez, honored volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Event, held at the Shannon Community Center, on Wednesday. March 1, 2023. The event opened with an original poem read by Dublin Poet Laureate – James Morehead. Awards include Young Citizen of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Organization of the Year, and a special Mayor award. Event video is included below.
At the event the City of Dublin 2022 awarded the following volunteers:
- Citizen of the Year: Kristin Speck
- Young Citizen of the Year: Yashas Shashidhara
- Organization of the Year: Above & Beyond Leadership & Education (ABLE)
- Mayor’s Award: Katie Cheng
- Mayor’s Legacy Award: Erik Bertelson
Young Citizen of the Year: Yashas Shashidhara
- Yashas is the environmental advocacy leader for the Dublin Mayoral Council, where he hosts the 2nd annual battery drive. He led a team in advertising and organizing the drive, which raised over 1,000 pounds of battery by working with the company “Recycle My Battery”.
- Yashas also helped create a new startup called “My Alcohol Story”, a web and social media app that provides a platform for teens and young adults struggling with alcohol to share their stories and read others’ stories anonymously.
- Yashas also has a passion for biomedical sciences and works with students at Cottonwood School on coding and technology platforms.
Citizen of the Year: Kristin Speck
- As of 2022, Kristin serves on the Wells School Band Board, the board of the Briarhill Swim Team, and serves as Chair of the Parks and Community Services Commission.
- He played a key role in the Dublin Unified School District Boundaries Committee.
- Kristin served as president of the Briarhill Swim Team and worked creatively to rearrange roles on the board and find people willing to take on lesser responsibilities. Through his ingenuity, he is able to recruit volunteers to keep the swim team from going bankrupt. He also launched computer coordination to ensure swimming competitions ran smoothly.
- Kristin ran for and was elected to an open seat on the Dublin Unified School District Board, where the goal is to encourage decisions that benefit the entire Dublin community.
Organization of the Year: Above and Beyond Leadership (ABLE)
- ABLE is a service organisation, consisting mainly of Dublin High students, but also including students from nearby communities. MAMPU supports education and builds a great community.
- In 2022, the club is organizing or assisting many events to help the Dublin community including:
- Volunteer at The Race Amity Festival in Dublin;
- Organized multiple trash clean-ups in the park, helping to keep it clean and safe for all visitors;
- Working with the Ocean Project, targeting ocean pollution. Volunteers make videos and flyers;
- Teaches students skills for learning and career planning;
- Mentoring more than 50 young students with math, English and sports services;
- Actively support community food and toy drives; collecting donations and giving back, raising $500 to give to Ukraine;
- Volunteer at City of Dublin events by providing free drinks and water for police and service staff
Mayor’s Award – Katie Cheng
- Katie served on the Dublin Unified School District Board as Student Representative for three years.
- He also serves as President and a founding member of the California Student Council Member Association, which is a statewide organization with 60+ Student Council Members serving on the California School Board.
- Katie has many achievements, including:
- Elected as Governor of ALA California Girls State in 2022
- Named in the top 5,000 of 3.6 million graduate seniors nominated to apply for a US Presidential Scholar.
- 1 in 8 speakers featured at Dublin’s annual TEDx event: “Civil Engagement: Why Silence is the Loudest Statement” o Qualification for NSDA Citizens for Speech and Debate Award
- Katie is a senior and will attend Stanford University in the fall to study Computer Science and Public Policy.
Mayor’s Legacy Award – Erik Bertelson
- As director of the Wells Middle School Band, Erik has been an integral part of the Dublin School District and community since 1979.
- Year after year, Erik takes budding musicians, AND several experienced musicians, and creates a magical experience with the Wells Middle School Band.
- The bands he led at Wells Middle School for over 40 years have won numerous trophies.
- Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in music.