Spanish Service Award 2011

Alyssa SheetsJudith Peters Aprender ayudando Spanish Service Award

Learn and serve as you use your Spanish!

Nominees and recipients of this award engage in a variety of sustained extra-curricular service-oriented activities that require the use of the Spanish language and familiarity with Hispanic cultures. Examples may include, but are not necessarily limited to such activities as:

• Tutoring students in Gloria Dei’s twice-weekly evening tutoring program
• Tutoring/translating for  Spanish-speaking students in the local school system
• Teaching in BRIDGES, the elementary education after school language program
• Translation work for any group that serves the Hispanic community
• Cultural programming that educates or enriches the VU or local community on issues related to Hispanic culture/language
• Participation/leadership in groups such as LIVE, Spanish Club
• Mentoring local Hispanic youthsPast recipients of the Aprender ayudando Spanish Service Award:

Past recipients of the Aprender ayudando Spanish Service Award


2011: Michelle Roy

" The more Spanish I know the easier it is for me to communicate with those I am trying to help allowing me to form stronger relationships with them.  I may have technological knowledge, but without knowing the people in the community, there is no way to implement sustainable solutions. " Read Michelle's testimonial

2011: Alissa Fiorentino

Alyssa Sheets
2009: Alyssa Sheets

" All you need to serve the Hispanic community, or anyone for that matter, is a willing and loving heart. When you realize that no one is too low for you to serve, and no one is too lost for you to love, you can reach and connect with so many different people. "  Read Alyssa's testimonial

Stephanie Wood
2009:  Stephanie Wood

" I now understand how students who speak little or no English might feel when they set foot in classrooms where they are expected to be able to communicate with the teacher and other students but struggle to be able to do so.  Because I have now also experienced this sensation, as a teacher I will be able to make my classroom a welcoming place for students who may experience this struggle, just as the students at the school in Nicaragua welcomed me. "  Read Stephanie's testimonial

2008: Rachelle Ewig

" I knew that these children would stay with me forever.  My room is filled with their pictures and my heart is filled with their love.  They have taught me that my service does make a difference, even if it was only for two months.  I impacted those children and they have forever impacted me. "  Read Rachelle's testimonial

2008: Angeles Velasco


Kat Peters

" When people are able to learn about communities in other countries, and when they learn Spanish and meet their neighbors, everyone benefits and incredible relationships are built that can change lives in very real ways. "  Read Kat's testimonial

History of the Award

Prof. Emerita Judith Peters

The Judith Peters Aprender ayudando Spanish Service Award honors Professor Emerita Peters, who taught Spanish at Valparaiso University and developed the International Service major; Professor Peters has devoted her professional and personal life to using the Spanish language as a means of helping others. The Spanish phrase Aprender ayudando (“to learn by helping”) reflects the University’s belief that education and service to society are inextricably linked. With this award, we honor these ideals and publicly recognize those students who have taken them to heart by using their study of the Spanish language and its associated cultures in the service of humanity.