Lion April 2013 : Page 6
IN THE SPOTLIGHT ONE OF US OLGA RUBI ACOSTA Olga Rubi Acosta loves serving her com-munity, and she does it in more than one language. This 18-year-old high school sen-ior and president of the Colquitt County Leos has led everything from literacy proj-ects to a major renovation of a camp. Her infectious enthusiasm about service en-abled Acosta to sponsor 35 Leos, and led her to be named as a 2011-12 Leo of the Year. Acosta uses her Latina roots as a translator for non-English speaking com-munity members in a variety of settings, helped launch an organization that assists immigrants assimilate into their new home in Moultrie, Georgia, and volunteers weekly at an English-as-a-second-lan-guage course. Acosta humbly gives tirelessly to her community, and she does-n’t have plans of stopping anytime soon. Why did you become a Leo? I wanted to become part of a club that is different than all the others and fo-cuses on community service. Since eighth grade I’ve enjoyed every moment of being a Leo. What has been your favorite Leo project? The Leos heard that campers were turned away at the Georgia Lions’ Camp for the Blind because they reached capacity. We came up with the idea to turn an abandoned infirmary into a bunkhouse. We were told it would be impossi-ble, but we went there every weekend we could to work on it. It took a lot of time and effort, but now the camp accepts 24 more campers than before. We learned about teamwork and that determination will pay off. Do you enjoy being a translator? I started at an early age translating for my parents. It wasn’t too fun trans-lating when my teachers would tell my parents something wrong I did at school! But now I know that I’m helping people with a service. I help a fam-ily with a baby who was born with multiple disabilities. It’s rewarding to see them understanding what the doctors and nurses are saying about their baby. You’ve also help start a civic organization in your community? Latinos United en Moultrie helps newcomers understand their rights in the United States and get involved in society. We hold town hall meetings, post community notices and share messages of cultural and societal concerns. You’ve served as a “madrina” at an impressive 12 Quinceañeras*. Know a Lion who you think deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of your Lion and the reason you’re nominating him or her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include “One of Us” in the subject line. I love being a madrina because it’s a position of honor. It’s like being a god-parent. My favorite event is the dance performance. We start practicing months ahead of time until it’s perfect. What will you do after high school? I’m taking certified nursing assistant courses which will go toward becoming a physical therapist. But I don’t want to stop there. I’m really interested in becoming an optometrist. I’ll be able to help people as part of my career and as a Lion. *A traditional Latin American ceremony and celebration held to mark a girl’s 15th birthday. It’s Leo Awareness Month, and the LION is honoring the great work of Leos in this issue. Enjoy learning more about Leos like Olga throughout the issue. Watch a video about the inspiring work of Leos.