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Senior Volunteer of the Year - Virginia Ellen Abbott Maxwell
Virginia Ellen Abbott Maxwell’s passion for children shows in her lifetime commitment to the education system and her dedication to providing afterschool support. She’s invested more than 36 years in the Benton Harbor Area Schools, working as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. In 1998, Virginia extended her reach outside the classroom and helped found the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor. Her 20 years there resulted in two new facilities that serve more than 1,700 children every year. She’s shown great leadership in the 15 years she served as the club’s board secretary. She is also committed to helping those who face challenges, and volunteers regularly to organize and host weekly suppers at her church, First Presbyterian Church of Benton Harbor. Virginia is also a 34-year breast cancer survivor, making her ability to inspire others stand out. Throughout her life of service, she has been unwavering in her dedication to ensuring the children of Benton Harbor know their community believes in them. “Virginia has been a constant force in the Benton Harbor area in her advocacy for young people over the past 40 years,” said Maurice Burton, board member with the Boys & Girls Club. “She has been a leader to those of us who work with youth.”