An employee at a Mundelein business has received a national service award in recognition of her volunteerism.
Marian Rodriguez, who works as a marketing representative at CARSTAR Mundelein automobile body repair, is among the recipients of the President's Volunteer Service Award for donating 499 hours last year to the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.
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Rodriguez, 54, of Waukegan, combined her love of photography and children in her volunteerism for the organization. She and her partner, Randy Kittell, attended the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as children.
"Had we not participated in their programs, we could have turned to drugs, drinking or a life of crime," Rodriguez said. "Instead, we found ways to channel ourselves and also work there as we both grew up. We met each other there and are together now."
Established in 2003, the President's Volunteer Service Award was designed to honor those living a life of service. U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents are eligible to be nominated and must meet certain award criteria.
Rodriguez, who works full time and has a full load of classes at DeVry University Chicago, was nominated by the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. She received a letter signed by President Barack Obama, a certificate and lapel pin.
"I love it," Rodriguez said. "I'll continue to volunteer as long as they'll have me."
She complimented CARSTAR Mundelein for allowing her the time and flexibility to give back to the community through volunteering and photography.
More than 2.5 million awards have been issued since the program was established, according to the President's Volunteer Service Award website.