We're excited to announce that Steve Werner was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Returning Peace Corps Volunteer award, which was given as part of the Governor's Service Awards, presented by Serve Colorado, on September 15, 2016. Steve served in Korea, with his wife Patti from 1976 to 2978. He was nominated by RPCVCO because "Steve's approach to volunteerism and service is that of a global citizen - someone who does not just work to address the needs of those he meets on a day-to-day basis, but instead he seeks out ways to serve others at home and abroad."
In demonstration of his continual dedication to service, Steve left for Peace Corps Response in mid-September and was unable to attend the awards ceremony. However, he shared the following message that was read at the ceremony:
"I want to thank the RPCVs of Colorado and especially Suzanne Smith, president, for nominating me for this award. I also want to thank everyone who supported the nomination but especially friends Suzanne Hammer, Rotary and work colleague, and Charlie Hunt, Rotarian and returned Peace Corps volunteer colleague. I also want to thank my wife Patti Werner, who served with me in South Korea from 1976 to 1978 and my children Brian, Matthew, and Christine and Christine’s husband and children, Rick Garcia and Vivian and Amelia. Finally, I also want to thank past recipients of this award and all of the Colorado returned Peace Corps volunteers and staff who have served over the years. I really believe that we stand on the shoulders of giants when we are recognized by this type of award.
In closing, I want to recount something I was told by a Korean Ministry of Health senior staff person who spoke at our Peace Corps Korea reunion back in Korea several years ago. He worked with several volunteers when we did tuberculosis control work in rural health centers. He told us that Koreans could have solved their huge problem with TB without Peace Corps, but that PCVs motivated them to work harder because they were impressed that we took time from our families and lives to help Korean people. They appreciated that we did that and made friends with the Korean people. Many volunteers do incredible work with the technical aspects of their assignments, but the longer term benefits of Peace Corps come from the relationships and example that we demonstrate through our service. I’m proud that the State of Colorado is the leading state in the per capita number of Peace Corps volunteers and how we are using our experience to help our fellow Coloradoans."
This is the third year that RPCVs were honored during the Governor’s Service Awards. Along with the Outstanding Returning Peace Corps Volunteer award, the following individuals and organizations were also honored for their service to others:
- Outstanding Volunteer: Wendell Schuler
- Outstanding Veteran Volunteer: Frank Perkins
- Outstanding Community Leader: Julie Reiskin
- Outstanding Nonprofit Organization: Community Reach Center
- Outstanding AmeriCorps State/National Member: Lyndsey Williams
- Outstanding AmeriCorps VISTA Member: Grace Fullmer
- Outstanding AmeriCorps NCCC Member: NCCC Team Sun 2
- Outstanding Senior Corps Volunteer: Steve Austin
- Outstanding AmeriCorps Alumni: Garett Brownlee Plantz
- Outstanding Returning Peace Corps Volunteer: Steve Werner
Know someone who should be nominated next year? Let us know!