Jeanne Mansfield of St. Petersburg has been named Goodwill's Volunteer of the Year. Mansfield is a strong supporter of Goodwill's BookWorks, an early childhood literacy program. She spends one day a week at Goodwill's St. Petersburg headquarters cleaning and sorting books donated for the program and serving as a team leader for other BookWorks volunteers. Since she started volunteering in 2009, Mansfield has helped clean and sort more than 250,000 books that are presented to preschool children from low-income families.
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Chanel Torres of St. Petersburg has earned the 2012 Yes I Can! Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. Torres, 21, was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and was later diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, cognitive disabilities and communication disorders. Despite her obstacles, Torres has become a vital member of her school and community, where she educates others on the affects of FAS by giving presentations at childhood development classes, teen-parent programs and advocacy groups. She also facilitates a monthly support group for young adults with disabilities. Each year, CEC honors 21 students with disabilities who have excelled.