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AmeriCorps Member of the Month: Xavier Munoz

We are proud to recognize Xavier Munoz, from The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) as our March AmeriCorps Member of the Month. Drawing from his one and a half years’ experience with LCNV, Xavier expanded the impact of his service beyond the Northern Virginia area by presenting at the 2014 Virginia Literacy Leadership Council Conference held in Richmond. The annual conference is “the only statewide conference in Virginia designed for teachers, program managers and administrators of community-based adult literacy organizations.” After a last-minute cancellation, Xavier was asked to give a presentation less than two months before the conference was to take place. Despite the late invitation, Xavier demonstrated coolness under pressure by creating and delivering a 75-minute workshop of his own design. His workshop had participants take part in a 45-minute language learning experience. That is, he taught the participants a lesson entirely in Japanese, a foreign language in which virtually none of the nearly 30 participants had any experience. Language learning experiences are often used in language teacher education programs to help teachers experience what it can be like in class for their students and be better able to understand varied student perspectives on the learning process.

Xavier’s presentation was a great success! One of the program administrators shared that she learned three things that she looked forward to bringing back to her program. In a session later the same day, a presenter repeatedly referenced Xavier’s workshop to illustrate points she was making about effective language teaching. Organizers received so much positive feedback on the delivery and content of his workshop that they have asked him to present again in 2015.

To cap off the month of March, we are proud to share that Xavier Munoz received national recognition as a Cesar E. Chavez Champion of Change! The White House selected “10 community leaders who embody the spirit of Chavez’s legacy. Xavier, along with the other nine honorees, participated in a panel discussion about his motivations to serve adult and immigrant populations at a White House event on Cesar E. Chavez Day, March 31, 2014.

We are proud of Xavier’s recognitions, but are more inspired by his response. Immediately after receiving his honor at the White House, Xavier was back at his desk, quietly and rigorously researching and developing lesson plans for his next class. Congratulations Xavier, for your great work and commitment to your pledge to “strengthen our communities.”

Honorable Mentions for March

Anna Murphy, CARITAS
Sam Crawford, Carroll County Public Schools
Brandon Springer, Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries
Ashely Riddick, Heart of Compassion
Jessica Harlan and Kelce Lytle, Occupational Enterprises, Inc.
Daniel Stokes, Virginia Commonwealth University

Published on Monday, May 5, 2014