Working with youth to engage them in service is a high priority at Volunteer Fairfax. To achieve this mission, Volunteer Fairfax partners with equally committed key leaders in the youth community. Ramona Morrow is one such partner and friend. Through the PTA, Mona has devoted nearly 30 years of service to Fairfax County Public Schools. What began as classroom support grew into leadership positions on the local and state levels.
Mona was born in South Hill (VA) and on her 7th birthday she got a present…a baby sister. She was raised in Chesterfield and met her Air Force Captain husband while working for the Defense General Supply Center. Their duty stations included Norton Air Force Base, Wright Patterson AFB, Andrews and the Pentagon. With their children thriving in Fairfax County Public Schools, they decided to put down roots.
A proposed school boundary change launched Mona into activism. She was determined that her community would be part of the decision process. Mona attended school and county meetings where she met other engaged parents.
“Because of the enthusiasm of great PTA leaders I met, including Cathy Belter (former FCPS School Board member), Mary Gormley, Jan McKeever and Rosemary Angel, I quickly became involved. They encouraged me and the end result–serving with fantastic volunteers and other leaders–has been most rewarding.”
Volunteer Fairfax is grateful to Mona. When we reached out to her—in her role as president of Fairfax County Council PTA–to discuss youth volunteerism and asked for her help in reaching families, she threw the doors open! She took our meeting, offered her support, distributed our information materials, and invited us to FCCPTA activities where we could network with PTA leadership.
In 2014, Ramona Morrow Watson was nominated for a Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award by Karen Garza, FCPS Superintendent. Through an independent panel of judges, Mona received the award for Lifetime Achievement having dedicated more than 45,000 hours to advocating for children.
Since completing her term with the FCCPTA, Mona has gone on to serve at the state level currently as Family Engagement Committee Chair. She continues her focus on empowering families and community members to advocate for all children. Thank you, Mona! Our children are fortunate to have such an outstanding champion!
Statistics from the *Journal of Research on Adolescence have confirmed that youth who volunteer benefit personally in a myriad of ways. These benefits include “Higher educational aspirations, higher grade point averages, and higher academic self-esteem.” Additionally, the journal states “Volunteering is found to strengthen intrinsic work values and the anticipated importance of community involvement.” To learn more about how youth can serve our community, visit here.
*Journal of Research on Adolescence, Vol 8, Issue 3, 1998