In honor of National Volunteer Week, Junior Achievement of Brown County volunteer Lori Cuene was awarded the 2018 Morgan Stanley Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
at the 30th annual WPS Volunteer Awards
at the KI Center in Green Bay. Among nearly 1,000 attendees including Mayor Jim Schmidt, Senator Herb Kohl, Representative Eric Genrich, emcees Erin Davisson and Tom Zalaski of WFRV-TV Local 5 and an immense amount of area businesses and impactful volunteers, Lori received recognition for her lifetime commitment to a vast amount of nonprofit organizations in the community, including Junior Achievement.
Junior Achievement nominated Lori for this prestigious award because she has truly made an impact on so many people, including our students in the Brown County area schools. After her time in one classroom, a student told Lori that because of her he came to believe that everybody can do something to help the community if they are willing to try. Perhaps without even knowing it, this young man described Lori Cuene perfectly.
Lori was very humbled to be nominated for this award and feels it was her calling in life to help others. Lori believes, “It is not what we do, but who we are when no one else is watching." Through Lori's life challenges she has discovered that she is blessed and feels, "We are not here to take; we are here to share what we have been given and to be a part of a community." She will have yet another opportunity to share as this award provides Lori with a $1,000 gift to share with the nonprofit of her choice.
During her time as a Leadership Green Bay participant, Lori gained a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our community, and saw it as her responsibility to take on those challenges and help find creative solutions to them. Her reach expands beyond Junior Achievement, as she also dedicates her time to Destination Imagination; Mosaic Arts, Inc.; On Broadway; Downtown Green Bay, Inc.; Freedom House; the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon; Girls on the Run; JOSHUA; Young Life; NAMI; and the Brown County Coalition for Prevention of Suicide. Not to mention her past commitments to The Light Walk in Green Bay, Girl Scouts and the school PTO.
She is extremely passionate about empowering and inspiring students. As she says, “Every single Junior Achievement class, every single unit is an opportunity to change a life in some small way. Each session is part of a conversation that encourages kids to take responsibility for their lives.” She wants them to become more aware of their choices, possibilities and opportunities that will equip them today and into their futures. As a community, Lori feels we can teach our students a healthy relationship with money and their futures.
In the last eight years, Lori has volunteered in 30 classrooms with Junior Achievement mentoring countless students on financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship. Motivated and engaging, Lori is willing to serve whenever and wherever she is needed. Through the Junior Achievement curriculum, Lori inspires her students to think about their financial futures and to believe that they will be successful. But, perhaps more importantly, she inspires them to lead. By making each student feel as though they are her top priority, Lori adeptly teaches the students to have a healthy relationship with money, themselves, and with those around them.
Lori has a rich history of volunteering in the community, and the spirit of volunteerism is something she learned from her parents and grandparents. Today, Lori similarly models the importance of giving back to her two daughters, often making volunteering a family affair. She has taught not only her girls, but also the many students she has worked with over the years, that they have a responsibility to the community and to one another. We can all feel confident that the next generation of engaged citizens will continue to be active in their communities, thanks to Lori Cuene. Congratulations, Lori, and thank you for all you do!