Mike Stefancic, a coordinator with the Service-Learning Program, was nominated as one of Idaho’s “Brightest Stars” at an award ceremony hosted by the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, otherwise known as Serve Idaho, on Jan. 16. The awards program celebrates the outstanding dedication and accomplishments of Idaho’s volunteers. Honorees are nominated by fellow Idahoans for their civic contributions and volunteer spirit.
Stefancic’s partner and nominator had this to say:
“In his day job, Mike is the Assistant Director of Service Learning Partnerships at Boise State University, helping connect students to service opportunities outside the classroom. When he is off the clock, you can find him volunteering for many of the same organizations he is directing students to. Mike is incredibly invested in his community, not just because of a job, but because it is who he is. In 2016 Mike stepped up to serve as the president on the Vista Neighborhood Association, a two-year term. He was instrumental in advancing human-powered transportation options, community gardens, the energize our neighborhood city initiative, and he facilitated a public forum on the proposed F-35 fighter jets at Gowen Field. Even though the neighborhood association took most of his time, he still regularly taught SnowSchool at Bogus Basin to help elementary kids engage in a science-based field trip as well as volunteered in other community volunteer efforts.
“In July of 2017, we moved to a new neighborhood, outside of the Vista Neighborhood Association that Mike served as the president of. Mike was so dedicated that when they couldn’t find someone to replace him, he decided to stay on. In September 2018, he finished his last project with them, 14 months after moving. Mike worked with other city leaders to turn parking lots into parks for National Parking Day. Even with no geographic connection to the Vista Neighborhood, Mike just has to help. Mike’s enthusiasm for volunteering has a way of spreading, too. Our children don’t necessarily know what it means to ‘volunteer.’ It is just part of what you do if you are around Mike. They might be found Raking up Boise, helping with recycling at the NCAA basketball tournament, parking bikes at Hyde Park Street Fair or just setting up chairs in their own school. Mike has instilled in them a sense of service, the same service he demonstrates time and time again, which is the heart of a healthy and vibrant community.”