North Central News

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Wagner named local coordinator
Eileen Brill Wagner, a resident of North Central Phoenix, is the new Phoenix local coordinator for InterExchange Au Pair USA, a cultural exchange organization based in New York City.

Her responsibilities include educating the local community about the value of employing au pairs, which are youth ages 18-26 that come from other countries on a J-1 visa for a year or longer as live-in childcare providers. She will also be bringing on new host families, and working with both host families and au pairs to ensure a mutually beneficial experience. Her territory includes the entire Great Phoenix area.
“What is exciting to me is the opportunity for parents to provide a valuable cross-cultural experience for their children,” said Wagner.

InterExchange Au Pair USA, a nonprofit that works closely with the U.S. Department of State, is one of the most experienced and respected au pair agencies in the country. The cost for an au pair is approximately $340 per week, regardless of how many children are in the family.

For more information, contact Wagner at ebrillwagner@lc.inter exchange.org.

Allvin honored for afterschool programs
Kim Allvin, community-based program manager for Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona, received the Outstanding Afterschool Professional Award at the 12th Annual Arizona Statewide Afterschool Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon at the Phoenix Convention Center on Nov. 2.

“Year after year, the quality and creativity of the programs and the passion and commitment of staff members become increasingly important in the overall development of Arizona’s youth,” said Melanie McClintock, executive director of the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.

Allvin works tirelessly to connect scholars at North Central Phoenix’s Boys Hope Girls Hope with extracurricular and enrichment opportunities in dance, gymnastics, theater, leadership workshops, sports and acting classes, among others. Allvin also attends many of the games, performances and celebrations and even drives students who would otherwise be unable to participate. She also facilitates financial management and career seminars and community service projects.

Winners received a cash award, certificate of recognition from Gov. Jan Brewer and paid admission to the Arizona Center for Afterschool professional development conference. For more information, visit www.azafte rschool.org.

Counts lauded for being a diversity champion
North Central resident Virginia Counts recently honored with by an award of Fellow member status from the Society of Women Engineers at its annual conference in Baltimore. Counts was recognized for her “significant contributions to the SWE mission, including more than a decade of Society-level leadership roles, for promoting gender diversity in the workplace, for championing process improvement, and for excellence in the program management.”

Counts is a program manager at the Medtronic Tempe Campus and is an active member of the Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) and SWEnet. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, both from Arizona State University.

Recognized as one of Arizona’s “48 most intriguing women,” Counts serves on the board of Gabriel’s Angels, a nonprofit organization providing pet therapy to at-risk children. She is also on the board of overseers for the Phoenix Symphony.

In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, hiking in the Phoenix mountain preserves, taking ballet classes, and training her miniature Schnauzer, Sophia.

Kirkland receives Eagle Scout award
George Kirkland of North Phoenix has passed his Board of Review for his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts of America from the Grand Canyon Council. He was awarded the honor by the Boy Scouts of America Camelback District.

Only approximately 5 percent of Boy Scouts achieve this rank nationally. Seven years in the making, Kirkland has been in Boy Scouts since he was a Wolf Scout. He earned four Limited Edition Historical Badges in Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling and Tracking. These badges required additional work and knowledge to earn them.

Kirkland was honored by Troop 30 by being inducted in the Hall of Fame for earning 36 Merit Badges. He also is being recognized by the Arizona State Knights of Colombus Scouting Chairman James Moore by being awarded the Certificate Servant of God Frank Parater, a unique honor.

Kirkland’s Eagle Project was to design, organize and obtain the required material for building a shade structure for the Alligator Nursery for the Phoenix Herpetological Society, a nonprofit organization in Scottsdale. “It is important to protect the baby alligators from the hot Arizona sun, and from potential predators,” he explains.

Kirkland knows the importance of helping others, protecting nature, and animals. He plans on joining the Eagle Alumni Association, continuing to being active in his troop, and attending the Japan Jamboree in 2015.

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