Another way to recognize and promote the volunteer spirit is through the BVC teen scholarship program.
Every year, the BVC has awarded a $1,000 scholarship (the Marilyn Swete Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Teen Volunteer of the Year) to one high school senior that resides in the Baldwinsville Central School district. This year, the center will offer two of the $1,000 scholarships.
"This is our way of recognizing teens out there doing volunteer work," Conley said.
Even though the teens rarely volunteer through the BVC, they are involved in other volunteer efforts throughout the community.
"A lot of students teach religious education," Conley said. "They have that volunteer spirit."
Applicants are chosen based on the quality and quantity of volunteer activities during their teen years. Applications for the scholarships are available in the guidance office at Baker High School or by calling the volunteer center.
Applications must be submitted by April 23. Scholarship winners will be announced during the Baker Moving Up Day on May 23.
About the BVC
In Baldwinsville, if you want to volunteer or need volunteers, then the BVC is the place to call.
"We tell [people] where to look for volunteer opportunities," Conley said.
In 1964, the Syracuse Volunteer Center created a branch office in Baldwinsville, which is now the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center. When the SVC merged with the United Way in the late 1990s, the Baldwinsville branch learned they would be shut down because the United Way didn't support the idea of branch sites. Before shutting down, the Baldwinsville branch conducted a survey to see if the community wanted a volunteer center located in the village specifically for the Baldwinsville community.
"They canvassed the community and people said yes," Conley said.
Local businesses provided financial support for the start-up and in May of 1998, the BVC came into existence as an independent agency.