By Stacey Bomser
Autumn Karlinsky has dedicated her life to serving her family, friends, community and fellow Floridians. Much of this work is through her involvement with the Volunteer Florida Commission, for which she will preside as Chair for 2018-2019.
“In 2011, I was appointed by Governor Scott to serve on the Volunteer Florida Commission,” explains Karlinsky. “From 2014-2016, I served as Commission Chair, and after receiving unanimous support from my peers, I recently resumed the role for this year.”
She says she is proud to be part of Volunteer Florida. “The organization’s ‘boots on the ground’ approach to dealing with issues in Florida – from at-risk students to devastation caused by hurricanes – is improving individual lives and transforming entire communities.”
As Chair, Karlinsky vows to continue to ensure that Volunteer Florida operates transparently, believing that “hard-working taxpayers and generous donors deserve to know how their money is being spent.”
She says one of her biggest goals is to increase awareness of AmeriCorps and promote its benefits. “Members dedicate a year of their lives to serve in vastly different, yet equally important, capacities – education, public land conservation, disaster services – in exchange for a living stipend and scholarship that enables them to pursue higher education or enter the workforce.”
A longtime Weston resident, Karlinsky is actively involved in the community having served in several different capacities at Imagine Charter School at Weston, Temple Dor Dorim, and Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies.
As a volunteer on the Parent-Teacher Partnership at Imagine Charter School at Weston, Karlinsky has served as Gala Chair, Teacher Appreciation Chair, Book Fair Chair, Fun Run Chair, Character Education Week Chair and Red Ribbon Week Special Education Chair. Through her fundraising efforts, the PTP has raised money for books, technology and other provisions.
Karlinsky says one of her greatest accomplishments was recruiting “notable speakers such as First Lady Ann Scott, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and Sheriff Al Lamberti to visit Imagine Charter at Weston, engaging students in educational discussions, assisting with award presentations and reading books to classes.”
Imagine Charter at Weston Principal Nadine Laham calls Karlinsky a “wonder woman” who has volunteered at the school for the past ten years. “She is a creative, detail-oriented, hard-working, clever and communicative organizer who takes on daunting tasks and sees them to a glorious conclusion. We are fortunate to have such a powerhouse student-teacher advocate helping our school.”
Karlinsky encourages her Weston neighbors to get involved and volunteer with an organization or program to which they feel connected. “I’m grateful to be appointed Chair of the Volunteer Florida Commission again, allowing me to help make the state, including Weston, a better place to live. Though I serve in an official role, anyone can be a volunteer and get involved in a deserving community or a meaningful cause – it only requires passion and time.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities in the area visit www.handsonbroward.org or www.volunteermatch.com.