Mitchell Middle School Student Volunteer Recognized

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG)  |  By Shelly Lembke
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Pictured is Anthony Lacayo, Mitchell Middle School student and Cordova Community Council award winner 2017 for Outstanding Teen Service. -- Photo courtesy Folsom Cordova Unified School District

Young Man Who Has Given Finally Gets

The Cordova Community Council recently awarded Rancho Cordova student Anthony Lacayo at the group’s 18th Annual Volunteer Awards in March. Lacayo attends Mitchell Middle School and has served as a volunteer for the last three years during the Folsom Cordova Unified School District’s Family Engagement Summery Academy.

Lacayo first attended the Academy himself as an elementary school student, and decided to give back to the community once he was old enough. “He decided to volunteer to make a difference for elementary students in the program,” according to Kathy Escobar, Multimedia Communications Specialist for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.

Since then he has spent most of his last few summers as part of the Counselor in Training (CIT) program, a feature of the district’s program design.

“Anthony is the reason why we created the CIT component of the summer program,” said Linda Burkholder, the district’s Director of Family Engagement and Support Services. “We now have more than 20 middle and high school students serving as CITs every summer. The younger students in the Summer Academy often tell me they want to be CITs like ‘Mr. Anthony’ when they get to middle school. He inspires his younger siblings and peers to get involved in science.”

In addition to his many hours of volunteer work as a CIT for the school district, Lacayo has managed to find time to help with another integral organization in Rancho Cordova, the Police Activities League (PAL). Escobar elaborated on the law enforcement group’s appreciation of Lacayo’s service. “PAL is sending him to a leadership conference in southern California in the summer, in recognition of his passion for service and his work on the Youth Leadership Council.”

The Family Engagement Summery Academy offered by the Folsom Cordova Unified School District is geared to help families grow together by using “reading, science, games and fun adventures,” says the district’s website. The summer day camp is funded in part by grants and donations from the community. It provides recreational opportunities, hands-on art and science projects, reading, technology, field trips and includes a Parent Academy with activities for adults, too.