pixel

Volunteer

West Windsor Arts Honors 2024 Volunteers of the Year

Celebrating our Volunteers

Two Adults and Two High School Students

Recognized for Extraordinary Services

In recognition of National Volunteer Month, West Windsor Arts has named Shaheen Shahnaz and Latoya Edwards as its Adult Volunteers of the Year and Sharaya Gala and Aarohi Honap as its Student Volunteers of the Year.

These four extraordinary individuals are being honored not only for donating their time and talents to the arts center, but also for inspiring others to join them in giving back. Their shared community spirit and passion for the arts have made a considerable impact on the nonprofit organization.

“It is with the support of such an engaged group of volunteers that we are able to enrich our community with innovative, creative programming,” says Aylin Green, Executive Director, West Windsor Arts. “Every year we shine a spotlight on volunteers who have gone above and beyond in supporting our mission. Yet, it is the collective efforts and energy of all our volunteers that sustain our organization.”

This past year, more than 263 individuals volunteered in various capacities at West Windsor Arts, from running exhibitions and event support to fundraising and advisory board participation. Their individual contributions are greatly appreciated and valued.

Each of the 2024 Volunteers of the Year noted ways in which their own lives were enriched through community service:

Shaheen Shahnaz began volunteering at West Windsor Arts in 2022 as a way to connect with the community. “It felt natural to become part of the Exhibition Committee and watch each exhibition come to life, making something out of nothing,” Shaheen explains. Working on the arts center’s “Off the Wall” art show, one of the biggest of the year, she took the time to get familiar with each artist’s biography and their craft. This made the experience even more meaningful to her.

“The time I have spent at West Windsor Arts has been very stimulating, and has helped me to reconnect to my creative side, whether organizing the artwork, meeting the artists and other volunteers, or designing opening night games,” she says. “There is a lot more that can be done to promote arts in the community, and I hope to be part of all that wonderful work.”

Latoya Edwards, who is the President of the West Windsor–Plainsboro African American Parent Support Group, first engaged with West Windsor Arts when her daughter was taking art classes. For the past six years, Latoya has worked closely with West Windsor Arts as a partner for its Annual MLK Day of Service, helping to ensure its success. She has consistently gone above and beyond in promoting the event on social media platforms, coordinating the volunteers, and expressing gratitude to donors for their generous contributions. Her efforts have helped to facilitate thousands of donations to numerous local organizations.

“Being able to collect and donate to great organizations while interacting with the community is so rewarding,” says Latoya. “Volunteering, driven by a servant’s heart, fills my soul.”

High school student Sharaya Gala has been volunteering at West Windsor Arts since 2022. It was the first place she ever volunteered. She recalls being a “ball of nerves” on her first day, but also being welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm. “My time at West Windsor Arts taught me many things, but the most important one is summed up in this quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the full staircase.’”

While volunteering, she met many people who positively impacted her life. One artist in particular talked to her about the inspiration behind his art. “He mentioned how he began exploring a unique art form when he was in his 50s, and that really struck a chord with me,” she relays. 

The experience inspired her to create her own art business, something she never thought was possible, called Colors for Critters, which donates 40 percent of its proceeds to local animal shelters. “I wanted to still give back to the community the same way I did at West Windsor Arts. Without West Windsor Arts, I wouldn’t be able to sell my art, support a cause I care about and, at long last, take that first step.”

Aarohi Honap is a high school junior who began volunteering for West Windsor Arts in 2022. Since then, she’s had the unique opportunity to work at events on the Special Events Crew with other volunteers with similar passions and interests. For Aarohi, volunteering, whether it was Summer Music, the Tuesday Crew or art show openings, has been so memorable because of the people and surrounding communities. “Learning from my supervisors and fellow volunteers made my experiences at West Windsor Arts so fun, and I’m extremely grateful to have these opportunities to give back to my community,” she says.

“West Windsor Arts sends a sincere thank you to Shaheen Shahnaz, Latoya Edwards, Sharaya Gala and Aarohi Honap, and to all the volunteers who share their talents. We welcome others to join them!” notes Green. 

Dedication Awards for our High School Students

Gold Award – Volunteering 80 or more hours:
Khushi Agrawal
Avishi Singh
Sarah Bridgeman
Aveek Chakraborty
Amrita Choulur
Sharaya Gala
Trisha Gupta
Aarohi Anant Honap
Cara-mier Marino
Meera Shah
Aarav Nadkarni
Saadhya Patil
Massimiliano Ravotto
Sarasa Shinde
Mia Vashi
Ava Zhang

Silver Award – Volunteering 65 to 79 hours:
Arjun Khanna
Zui Chinchalkar
Olivia Chowdhury
Anika Gopi
Thara Jayaveerapandiyan Rajeswari
Ahana Joshi
Melina Kyriakopoulos
Margaret Lockman
Ananya Mehta
Yashvi Raj
Ambika Ramaswamy
Sophie Tsai
Akshita Vashisht
Benjamin Weeks

Bronze Award – 50 to 64 hours:
Sia Agrawal
Ci-Ning Ang
Ayesha Azfar
Arpia Bajwa
Manya Bhasin
Carla Julian
Shreya Dadlani
Anjali Gantayat
Aunusha Ghosh
Abigail Hwang
Maria Johnson
Shivani Joshi
Nidhi Pramanik
Swara Sanghvi
Leeann Shaw
Aditya Shivpuriya
Rashmi Swaminathan
Alayna Ting

Thank you to all our volunteers during the past year:

Anabis Acevedo, Ranya Agarwal, Khushi Agrawal, Sia Agrawal, Pranya Agrawal, Snehal Agrawal, Zakia Ahmed, Parvathy Ajit, Alisa Algava, Mary Victoria Algeri, Robert Algeri, Irfan Ali, Georgina Ramirez Alzaga, Jaime An-Wong, Sowmya Anem, Ci-Ning Ang, Nomeda Aniukstis, Arjun Khanna, Roy Arpita, Vandana Arthanari, Avishi Singh, Ayesha Azfar, Jyotika Bahree, Arpia Bajwa, Ashley Banks, Gary Becker, Alexa Benedetto, Alejandro Berlin, Manya Bhasin, Arundhati Bhosle, Manveen Bindra , Megan Bommireddy, Peter Braynor, Sarah Bridgeman, Vanessa Bryk, Carla Julian, Kristina Chadwick, Aveek Chakraborty, Gargi Chanda, Amy Chen, Athena Cheng, Zui Chinchalkar, Diva Chopada, Amrita Choulur, Olivia Chowdhury, Mikel Cirkus, Serina Clemente , Tori Coffey, Maureen Connolly-Hersh, Beth Cooper, Vera Crabtree, Shreya Dadlani, Jasmine Dadlani Family, Rekha Dagalur, Yvonne De Carolis, Bumper DeJesus, Mitali Deshmukh, Stuti Deshpande, Magda Dodd, Delali Doe, Avni Doegar, Jennifer Du, Darryl Dwayne Walker, Jayme Eber, Latoya Edwards, Christine Elizabeth, Richard Engel, Vishnu Enjapoori, Jayme Fahrer, Neha Fernandez, Jeff Fernandez, Jennifer Fletcher, Sarah Formica, Cherie Foster , Carina Foushee, Marion Friedman Young, Sharaya Gala, Lasyapriya Ganapathiraju, Padmaja Ganapathy, Anjali Gantayat, Angel Gardner, Doreen Garelick, Sonia Gawas, Anu George, Aunusha Ghosh, Varsha Gireesh, Joseph Goldfedder , Siri Gonaguntla, Olivia Gonzalez, Sibianis Gonzalez, Anika Gopi, Becky Graham , Sharon Graham, Lawrence Graves, Adriana Groza , Jyoti Gumaste, Trisha Gupta, Elane Gutterman, Anjali Harish, Marzena Haupa , Takiyah Henriques, Cheri Heyse, Aarohi Anant Honap, Vivien Huang, Sofia Husain, Zaynab Hussain, Abigail Hwang, Courtney Jackson, Meeti Jain, Audrey Jakab, Audrey Jakab, Thara Jayaveerapandiyan Rajeswari, Abigail Johnson, Maria Johnson, Ahana Joshi, Shivani Joshi, Margaret Kalvar, Shreya Kamasani, Uma Kapoor, Vidhi Kapoor, Mili Kashyap, Aparna Kaushik, Kathleen Kent, Shipra Khare, Jamie Klenetsky Fay, Phoebe Kong, Nelly Kouzmina, Anubha Kulshrestha, Anuja Kumar, Shrika Kumaraswamy, Christine Kurian, Kristy Kyriakopoulos, Melina Kyriakopoulos, Reya Lapasia, Gina Lee, Jane Lee-You, Trevor LePrevost, Maggie Li, Difan Li, Paul Ligeti, Zahava Lipton, Eleni Litt, Nancy Liu , Vivian Liu, Margaret Lockman, Casey Lucas, Merry Madover, Suparna Mahableshawarkar, Poojit Majeti, Lauren Maley, Saranya Mandapty, Anudeep Mantravadi, Tameem Maqsudi, Tyler Marcocci, Cara-mier Marino, Julie Martin-Kolb , Meera Shah, Veronica Mehno, Ananya Mehta, Ann Marie Miller, Chris Mittendorf, Kazuki Mizuishi, Andrew Morris, Sonali Mukhija, Shravya Muppala, Ashika Nadendla, Aarav Nadkarni, Alya Naik, Anika Nair, Aarti Nathan, Kristen Oberlin, Kalp Ostawal, Haylen Pando, Aasritha Pandrangi, Shraddha Panisetty, Aran Panneerselvam, Lahar Parikh, Susan Parris, Falguni Patel, Saadhya Patil, Angie Peer, Olivia Ann Popovic, Amanda Kate Popovic, Valerie Popp, Sanjay Potluri, Latika Prabhakar, Ilisha Prakash, Nidhi Pramanik, Colleen Puglia, Mara Pugliese, Prachi Purohit, Yashvi Raj, Ambika Ramaswamy, Harshita Ramesh, Sabbir Rangwala, Sanaa Rangwala, Massimiliano Ravotto, Jameelah Reese-Bentley, Nicole Roberson, Francine Roche Kay, Aarav Rohatgi, Vanessa Roseberry, Abby Rozentsvayg, Matthew Ruple, Aamya Sachdeva, Rupa Sanbui, Swara Sanghvi, Vidhi Sapru, Faith Sauders, Mira Sawant, William Schimmel, Christa Schneider, Shefali Shah, Shaheen Shahnaz, Hema Shankar, Luke Shao, Alok Sharma, Rachna Sharma, Anusha Sharma, Riddhi Sharma, Chaitali Shaw, Leeann Shaw, Deirdre Sheean , Shobana Shenoy, Shobana Shenoy, Sarasa Shinde, Aditya Shivpuriya, Anokhi Shukla, Margaret Simpson , Dixie-Ann Sinnette, Alexia Sirimis, Merle Slyhoff, Sristy Sood, Sandy Soriano, Sashi Sreekanth, Samhitha Sreenivasan, Uta Steinhauser, Esther Sun, Rashmi Swaminathan, Grant Taylor, Alayna Ting , Jeannine Toal, Jenny Tungol, Sophie Tsai, Nancy Tsui, Aarnavi Vankadari, Sudhir Varma, Mia Vashi, Akshita Vashisht, Vishwath Venkatesan, Greeshma Vennapusa, Alice Wang, Elyse Warren, Benjamin Weeks, Barbara Weinfield, Avery Danae Williams, Ankita Wunnava, Haoran Xu, Jane Yuan, Ann Zawartkay, Ava Zhang, and Vicky Zhou.

*Dedication Awards and list of volunteers are for service during the calendar year 2023. If we missed adding your name to the list, we apologize and ask that you let us know so we can make the correction. 

Make a Difference at WWAC by Volunteering

Join the West Windsor Arts Council in our mission of changing the world around us through the arts. By giving your time, you can help your community engage with the transformational power of the arts. Volunteering is an excellent way to get involved while building a network of passionate individuals.

WWAC relies on volunteers for many of our programs. Numerous projects and events have been carried out successfully thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. 

WWAC volunteers are a diverse group with various skill sets. There are opportunities available for everyone, no special artistic talent needed. We encourage applications from those who value the arts and share our passion for educating and involving the community.

Student Applicants
(13-18)

Special Event Crew
April to June 2024

We are seeking a limited number of high school students to volunteer for our Special Events Crew. Events include birthday parties and exhibition openings. 

We are looking for adult volunteers to serve on the Board, various Committees and assist with events. Positions vary in time commitment and responsibilities, any availability concerns can be addressed after application. 

Camp Counselors
(14 – 18)

Due to an Increase Volume of Applications for Summer 2024, Volunteer Camp Counselor Applications are closed at this time. 

Classroom Volunteers
(14 – 18)

Assist our youth classes and gain experience working with children and teachers. This opportunity is available for our fall, winter, and spring classes only. No summer class volunteering is available.

Heavy Lifter Crew
Adults

We are looking for people to help move stuff! Occasionally we need to move things up from the basement or to the basement, to set up shelving or to rearrange furniture. This is an ongoing and as needed basis.  Adults only please.

Congratulations to our 2023 Volunteers of the Year

Volunteers are often the quiet backbone of any nonprofit organization. By providing their time and talents, they fill in the gaps that are needed in order to fulfill the mission and provide robust, well-run, and critical services to the community. At West Windsor Arts, over 200 individuals have honored the organization with their commitment to its mission of cultivating the artist within us all, while inspiring a creative community that is engaged, inclusive and equitable.
Click Here for the 2023 Salute to Our Volunteers

The West Windsor Arts Council was established as an IRS designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 2002. The WWAC is not affiliated with any local, county, or state governmental agency. It has an independent volunteer board of trustees, and is registered as a charity with the State of New Jersey.