Organization's comments: "Being a volunteer here isn't...


Organization's comments: "Being a volunteer here isn't easy," said Pam Grady, director of administrative services for Voices for Children. Before becoming a court-appointed volunteer, applicants have to go through a background check and a 30-hour training program. After completing their training, volunteers serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in cases taken to the Juvenile Court system.

"Fred is a great advocate for the agency. His greatest joy is helping children," Ms. Grady said. "He advocates for more kids than anyone else. He is the only advocate who has five children. He has to keep track of five kids' interests at the same time. . . . He will do whatever it takes to take care of the kids."

Volunteer's comments: Mr. Weaver says he has always enjoyed working with young people and greatly enjoyed working as a summer camp counselor many years ago. It was the rewards of providing a positive influence for troubled youths that sent him in the direction of Voices of Children.

"Sometimes the cases get very meaty, gutty and very challenging," Mr. Weaver said. "To anyone else, the case seems hopeless. I'm learning that the rewards come in slow doses.

"There are times I wish I could have the kids for two weeks or a month, but that's not the case. You have to stay focused on what is in the best interest of the child."

Hobbies and other activities: In addition to working with Voices for Children, Mr. Weaver enjoys boating, fishing and photography as well as nurturing a house full of plants. "I can't find enough light for all the plants," Mr. Weaver says.

About Mr. Weaver: When not working as an insurance agent, Mr. Weaver, 55, has also volunteered for the Howard County Personnel Board and the Columbia Council, served as a facilitator for the Chamber of Commerce, formed a business partnership with Owen Brown Middle School, and is a former member of the Columbia Foundation board of directors.

To make a nomination or receive a nomination form, call Jill L. Kubatko at 715-2813 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 715-2816.

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