HRM Docent Loretta Poole Honored with City of Yonkers’ Community Service Award
The Hudson River Museum congratulates HRM Docent Loretta Poole for receiving the Mayor’s Community Service Award for 2023. On April 6, Mayor Mike Spano honored six local volunteers at the 7th annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service, which recognizes those who donate their time to a variety of charitable organizations in Yonkers.
“In Yonkers alone, we have 137 Senior Corps volunteers who contributed over 3,000 hours of their time,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “Our volunteers play vital roles in our community and ensure Yonkers continues to remain a vibrant place to live, work, and play.”
Loretta Poole has been a HRM Museum Docent since 2015, following a notable career in instructional systems technology that took her to Alaska for many years. A native of Queens and now a resident of Westchester, Loretta was recently featured in Westchester Senior Voice magazine in the article, Meet our Volunteer Heroes, where she discusses her passion for working with children.
Because of her background in education, Loretta took naturally to the docent training program and began leading student and adult groups on tours of the Museum’s exhibitions and collections. As children, she and her brother were frequent visitors to New York City museums, especially the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. She is now dedicated to fostering the wonder and excitement she felt as a child in the young people with whom she works today. She adds, “And as a black person, I want to represent children of color.”
A natural leader with strong empathy and interpersonal skills, Loretta quickly rose through the docent ranks and was elected Vice President of the Docent Council. During the long days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when weekly docent trainings could not be held in person, she worked closely with HRM staff to maintain morale in the community, supporting virtual meetings and get-togethers so everyone’s learning and development could continue online, unimpeded, as they mastered new digital skills. When the Docent Council President stepped down last year, Loretta took up the executive position without missing a beat. Today, as President, she continues to lead with wisdom, humility, and humor. And we at the Museum, staff as well as visitors, have the pleasure and privilege of learning from her every day. We thank Loretta for her countless contributions and congratulate her for this well-deserved honor.