My oh my, Joel Koenig sure has done a lot for the Boulder community and that is exactly why he deserves the Outstanding Volunteer Award. A retired CPA and Senior Partner of Deloitte, Joel fell in love with volunteering when he moved to Boulder seven years ago. He always had a passion for libraries and thought this would be a great place to start his volunteering career. Six years ago, Joel began volunteering for the Collection Department in the Boulder Public Library. He would sort out old, unusable books and make room for new ones. Joel states, “Seeing the visitors happy [in the library] is everything to me; I just want to help in any way that I can.”
From his love of books, Joe segued his volunteering career into the Boulder Public Library’s Boulder Reads Program. This program provides 1 on 1 tutoring and aids individuals of all ages learning how to read. It was here that Joel tutored Keera Yoo, a South Korean native. Keera Yoo nominated Joel for the Outstanding Volunteering Award for his efforts in teaching her how to read in English. Keera expresses “Joe showed interest in me and wanted to truly help me learn English. Now I can speak and write English well, and it’s all because Joel took the time to help me.”
His new found love of volunteering has led Joel to give his time in other unique ways as well. From GED tutoring at the Boulder County Jail to becoming a victims advocate for Boulder County, Joel has spread his giving heart all over Boulder County. As if he doesn’t already have a full volunteering plate, Joel has even been volunteering through Open Space Mountain Parks for the past 6 years. It is here that he helps as a trail guide, providing help and direction to visitors. He also hosts at the Ranger Cottage and gives visitors direction and advice about trail difficulty.
His passion for helping others is very visible in the Boulder Community and Joel has no intention of slowing down. Joel explains, “Volunteering for me is really rewarding and I love seeing the end result. Self-motivation drives me to help others; I wouldn’t volunteer, if I didn’t love it.”
Joel’s advice for others interested in volunteering - “Time is so important, so look inside yourself and discover something that you truly love.”