Helping students learn the ins and outs of government is what Wendy Baldwin spends her free time doing.
Baldwin’s nearly decade-long work with the YMCA’s Youth and Government program earned her the South Montgomery County YMCA Volunteer of the Year award.
“I’m flattered, but I know there are a lot of people who put in a lot of hours,” said Baldwin, an Oak Ridge High School social studies teacher. “I think I really do very little compared to all these other people.
“It’s embarrassing to get this award when it’s all the kids. That’s the reward, when you see the click in their eyes,” she said.
South Montgomery County YMCA Executive Director Mark Cochran presented Baldwin the award during the Nov. 12 Greater Houston YMCA awards ceremony.
“She is wonderful,” Cochran said. “She is the true definition of a volunteer. She gives of her time. The award is so deserving.”
This weekend, Baldwin is taking some of her Youth and Government participants to Austin for a state conference to put what Baldwin has taught them into practice.
“I’m a firm believer in grass roots efforts,” Baldwin said about the program. “I’m going to work with these kids and some of them may go into politics.
“I know they will never forget the experience. They are also educating other kids on politics.”
The YMCA’s Youth and Government program provides opportunities for youth to study and debate public issues, experience the judicial branch of state government, write legislation and participate in a youth legislature, or experience creating a news broadcast or newspaper, according to www.ymcatexasyg.org.