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The Rookie of the year Award - Vanessa Aguirre


Vanessa Aguirre started her career with Extension in October of 2019.  She had started shadowing and observing in November 2019.  At the beginning of 2020, she started programming at Glenwood Elementary and Round Lake Beach Elementary offering Organwise and Illinois Junior Chef.  After going into remote working Vanessa started to explore how to do virtual programs and was excited to collaborate with others on the team. 

She volunteered when a request came in for both youth and adult programming with the summer Waukegan School District Diverse Learners (these are IEP students with special needs).  The school district used a different platform for delivering lessons.  Vanessa worked with the School District Staff to learn the new learning platform.  She offered five weeks of lessons from the Catch Curriculum and had one lesson ready from the Healthy Cents Curriculum for the Parents. 

Vanessa is also a critical part of the unit’s team building committee.  During our shelter in place, she worked on our welcome back to office boxes and our weekly team meetings (Mar – Jun).

She has worked with two focus network communities until our North Chicago Community Worker left.  Then she has graciously taken over the building of bridges in North Chicago as this community has seen four community workers in the last five years. 

One of her current program areas is learning the Great Garden Detective to support the School Garden Workshop Series that has gone on in the county for the last five years.  She is also embracing Eat Play Grow virtual series.  While also supporting and learning the virtual Healthy Cents curriculum.

Vanessa has made herself a valuable part of the Unit #3 SNAP Ed team in a very short time.  She has proven herself to be dedicated and passionate about assisting communities to make healthy choices with nutrition and physical activities.

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