LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Diadel Ortiz

Position: Program Director - Community Connections
School: Union Elementary School
School District: Montpelier Public Schools
City, State: Montpelier, VT

Support Diadel

Diadel Ortiz was nominated by a parent of a student, Melanie Taylor.

When Ms. Taylor met Ms. Ortiz, she had recently moved from Chicago to Vermont and signed her children up for Union Elementary School, in Montpelier. She was a single mom of three who needed afterschool care for her children. Ms. Ortiz Ortiz quickly became a mentor for Taylor and her family.

"Diadel is one of the most caring people I have ever met in my life," Taylor said. "I was struggling financially, and she went above and beyond to help me so my kids could participate in the program. She allowed me to volunteer when it was convenient to me, and was conscious of the fact that I was not always able to pay for the full program. She is always there for me, despite the fact that she has a family of her own to take care of. Ms. Ortiz is always checking on me, sending me inspirational emails and calling me to let me know that everything will be alright."

Ms. Ortiz is also the coordinator of the Backpack program. The program is affiliated with the Food Shelf and was put in place at Union Elementary School to ensure that nobody goes home hungry. Every Friday, bags of food are placed in students' backpacks or cubbies while they are at recess, or during another convenient time when the classroom is empty. Ms. Ortiz designed the program to be effective but subtle. She makes sure that the student receiving the bag isn't restricted in terms of food allergies. Taylor and her family were part of the Backpack program and greatly benefited from it.

Ms. Ortiz is also the director of the Christian Education and Youth program at Trinity United Methodist Church. She participates in their Food Shelf and gives out free meals in Montpelier. She is an active member of her community who donates her time to people in need.

"She sponsored my daughter for her school project about pollution and saving the earth," Taylor said. "My daughter asked her to represent them as a member of the community; and without hesitation, she agreed."

Ms. Ortiz is committed to non-profit organizations and donates her time, despite her busy schedule.

"She changed my life, became one of my best friends, and became my mentor," Taylor said. "She is a role model for students of Union Elementary School, as well as the people of Trinity United Methodist Church. She has touched the lives of those around her with her contiguous smile, kind heart, and dedication to serving the community. It's a blessing to know her."



Comments (142)


Jean Stetter Posted 7 months ago

Diadel is a life-changer in big ways and small. The unwavering care, support, fun and consistency she provides to the students in our after school and school break program (Community Connections) is unparalleled. She steps in to support our school and students throughout the day - not just during Community Connections hours. Moreover, she regularly changes the lives of children and adults in the school and out in the community with her fabulous smiles, warm greetings, gentle candor and integrity. Those interactions make a person's day. She is a great role model for both adults and students - truly a life changer.

Diana Koliander-Hart Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is the very essence of life-changer. The care and dedication she shows the kiddos in our Community Connections program is above and beyond! Not only that, but she has become an integral part of our school community- joining in our Morning Meetings with such energy and genuine love of the kids and adults! She always greets with a positive note, quote or her beautiful deep hug. Being around her is the very beginning of positivity and hope. She embodies all that it means to be a life-changer- for all around her.

Patricia Dow collier Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a compassionate and caring individual. She recognizes children's strengths and is supportive of their interests and challenges. She reaches out to others on a regular basis. She is not afraid to ask questions and seek help from others. She truly lives her beliefs.

Stephanie Hurley Posted 8 months ago

We are so grateful for everything Diadel Ortiz does for our community! She is responsive and thorough in all she does for Union Elementary School and the children of our community.

Mary Catharine Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a Life Changer! Her impact on families in the Montpelier community is greater then she realizes. Her warmth, kindness, generosity and supportive nature can be seen daily through her work with Community Connections, her facilitation of the "Backpack Program" and much more. Not only does Diadel have a huge impact on the children and families of the Montpelier community. She is great source of support to the teachers of Union Elementary school as well. I'm fortunate enough to have a classroom near her office. She is always willing to pop in and lend a helping hand. Then there is her smile. Diadel is so sincere when she greets you in the halls and asks how you are. She cares deeply for everyone around her. I believe Diadel is very deserving of the Life Changer award. She is simply one of the "greatest"!

Sarah Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is such a blessing! Her community connections program through Union Elementary School has made all the difference in my life and my daughters life. Her staff is fantastic and it is evident that she and her staff really care about the children. She offers healthy snacks, educational programs and Diadel is always there to help whenever I have a question. My daughter absolutely loves her after school care and I don’t know what I would do with out Diadel and her program!!!

Diadel Ortiz Posted 8 months ago

I want to Thank you all for supporting me on this nomination. I am humble by your words and stories. You have all changed the course of my life and I will always cherish that. Life is a gift and you are all givers of love and kindness. I am grateful to know each and every one of you. Thank you, Love Diadel

Emily Griggs Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is more than worthy of this honor. She is a genuinely kind and caring person who always has a smile and kind words for our UES and Montpelier community. Not only has she helped students to have a positive experience after school through her work with Community Connections, she has also worked toward relieving some of the stress caused by food insecurity for our UES families (Backpack Program). On a more personal note, Diadel has passed down boxes of beautiful hand-me-down clothing and shoes for my daughter and has never asked for anything in return. I am thankful to be touched by Diadel’s humble, compassionate spirit.

Chris Hennessey Posted 8 months ago

I have had the pleasure and honor of working with Diadel the last four years, and I have known few if any in my career who are more devoted to improving, indeed changing, the lives of children and their families. Those of us who know Diadel as a colleague are inspired by her positive, generous, and giving spirit on a daily basis, and I have learned to never take this spirit for granted! Diadel is known for giving particular care and attention to those who are most vulnerable among us, and she goes about this work in a way that the most generous always do -- that is, never looking for recognition or credit, but simply going about the work because it's who she is. Diadel is a genuine LifeChanger, and she is richly deserving of this honor!

Alexander Rob Posted 8 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Diadel as Executive Director of Community Connections over the last few years. I supervise programs at 9 schools but I never worry about Diadel's program at Union because I know that it is in good hands. At Community Connections we serve our towns by supporting schools, families, and caring for kids. As the 124 comments below show, Diadel and Community Connections have been very successful in the mission and have truly changed the lives of children and their families for the better! What many do not see is the incredible work that Diadel does behind the scenes running Community Connections in a sustainable way that ensures it will be there for future families. Over the last 3 years we have seen our support from grants and the school district drop by 80%. These cuts threatened the future of Community Connections but Diadel responded by turning Community Connections at Union into a healthy program that is sustainable without ANY grant or school funding. She has done this by providing a wonderful service, hiring great staff, and providing value to Montpelier parents. Best of luck to you Diadel as you compete for Lifechanger of the Year!

Becky McCullough Posted 8 months ago

Diadel Ortiz has changed many lives during her years as the director of The Union School Community Connections After School Program by creating a high quality program that parents could count on to provide a safe, interesting, fun, and nurturing environment for their children. I experienced Diadel’s leadership during the one year I was employed as a group leader and then the program librarian. She showed great kindness to me by trying to find a good fit for my talents and interests within the structure of the after school program. I appreciate the friendship we developed during that time that continues today. Diadel changed my perception of myself and bolstered my confidence to pursue an involvement with another organization that was focused on the arts. Diadel will find out how she changed my life as she reads these comments. I am sure there are others like me who have been influenced by Diadel’s kindness, optimism, and compassion. Thank you, Diadel.

Joseph Danduono Posted 8 months ago

I am using my friend computer and this place to write something very beautiful about DeDe this is the way i call her since i know her , she was six years old, And she always was or still very busy always doing this for kids , I remember one day in Hoboken she told me that she didnt like to , Tohave 80 as a grade ,that she like 100, And she work very hard, she graduate from Hoboken Hight and went to collage. I ,, am very proud of Diadel ,To me she diserved this award.

David White Posted 8 months ago

Diadel Ortiz would be a perfect person to receive this award. She is a very giving person it is a privilege to know Diadel. God bless her

Heather Bates Posted 8 months ago

Thank you, Diadel, for your commitment, dedication, and compassion toward our community. We are so appreciative of the care you provide for our children, your coordination of the food for families in need, and your kind heart open for all. We are so fortunate to have you in our lives!

Ashley Beach Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and loving community members I know. I can't think of anyone more deserving to receive this nomination. Her big heart and constant generosity are always shining bright! I feel fortunate to know Diadel both professionally and personally. Her joy and positive attitude is present in all she does.

Melissa Pierce Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a positive role model in our school community. She never misses an opportunity to compliment a teacher or student and to lift them up when they need it!

Kelly Poor Posted 8 months ago

Diadel's professional and personal commitment to education and the health of young children can be witnessed through the work she does with Community Connections. We are fortunate to have her and the seamless care that is offered through CC is a lifeline for working parents. I am most excited to see her expand the resources and offerings at CC by providing Spanish and sign language to our children - this is an important offering that our public schools are lacking and I am extremely grateful for this being provided through afterschool. This is a good example of her innovation and persistence.

Jasmine Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Ortiz is more than an after-school director. She cares deeply for the families she supports in the school system. Her support both in and out of the CC program is one of a kind. During a time when my family struggled during my medical leave, her support for both our finances, and the care and arrangement for my daughter was a huge help to us during a time in need. My daughter loves to give her hugs and sees her as a role-model and friend. Diadel treats us all like family!

Dawn McCall Posted 8 months ago

My husband, Ryan, and I are thrilled to know Diadel has been nominated for LifeChanger of the Year. Both of our daughters were a part of the Community Connections program while attending Union Elementary School. While the program was beneficial to their "after school" lives, Diadel was also very much a positive presence in their world. She always had the best interest of all the children in the program in mind and not only displayed kindness and compassion, but insisted the children attending the program did so as well. We often reflected on how fortunate we were to have a well-structured after school program as an option to choose from. However, we also reflected often on how fortunate we were that the program was led by Diadel. The UES Community Connections program alone has potential to be good. What turns that potential into reality is the fact that the program has a great leader. Diadel is most certainly a great leader.

Ryan McCall Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is without the shadow of a doubt one of the leading positive factors in our community for our children. Her conscience effort to connect with all the kids that come through her programs is felt not only by everyone of the families that take advantage of Community Connections, but by all the families that interact with the children that attend those programs. Her positive presence has a domino effect on this community that has been and continues to elevate Montpelier as a whole. Diadel has been a life-changer for a long time and her nomination in for this award is much deserved.

Chris Parker Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is such a warm and generous team-player! Our school community is so lucky to have her at the helm of our after-school program, Community Connections. As the school social worker, I am so appreciative of all the work she does to help kids feel safe and heard and cared for. The "Backpack Program" that Diadel facilitates with the local Rotary Club is so great for our most vulnerable students and I am so grateful for her efforts in supporting these kids.

Marita McDonaldFrey Posted 8 months ago

Diadel Ortiz is invaluable in our school community, serving as a conduit between service organizations and school programs. We couldn't do it without her.

Emmanuel Riby-Williams Posted 8 months ago

Thank you, Diadel, for supporting the development of UES students. The kind of job Diadel does supports academic achievement, prevents risky behavior, improves social and emotional development, and promotes health and wellness.

Brian G. Ricca Posted 8 months ago

It is a privilege to serve in Montpelier with Diadel. Her commitment to the students and families at UES is palpable, her enthusiasm is contagious, and her leadership is sincere. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a warm and welcoming after school program for families in Montpelier Public Schools and at the heart of that program at UES is Diadel!

Emily Wetherell Posted 8 months ago

Diadel has supported both my children. She is kind and caring. Thank you Diadel!

Grace Jersey Posted 8 months ago

I have known Diadel since our high school years. The woman you see today, is the same as the person I knew in our youth. She is a nurturer in every sense of the word. The depth of her compassion and empathy know no bounds.She goes headfirst into any situation with a positive attitude which is just contagious. She truly deserves this honor because it represents who she is as a person.

Cheryl Ecklund Posted 8 months ago

Diadel has been a very important person in my son, Jasper's life for nearly five years through CC at UES. She has helped him deal with challenges and she has supported his talents. Jasper connected with Diadel as soon as he met her and he has adored her since Kindergarten. Whenever he has had challenges in school or has felt sad or even afraid I have been able to contact Diadel and she has always been there to give him an extra hug and encouraging words. It is such a blessing to have Diadel working with our children at UES. Jasper considers Diadel to be like a mom at school and CC, and he adores Diadel's daughter, Ari as well. We can always count on Diadel to give love as well as real life advice to help nurture our children to become kind, compassionate and giving people. We are so lucky to have Diadel and she fully deserves this recognition for her tireless devotion to our children!

Deeann Fassett Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a pillar of her school community. She sets an example for others through her compassion and dedication to her students and their families. I am blessed to call her a friend!

Sarah Mason Posted 8 months ago

Diadel's compassion and care for children and community are apparent from the first moment you meet her. We moved to Montpelier knowing that as full time workers and parents our children would need an afterschool program that we could trust to nurture and support our boys. When we found out about the program and wanted to know more, we were welcomed and provided with a seamless transition for our children. Diadel puts her heart into making sure that there are caring staff, engaging opportunities and appropriate support. My children greatly enjoy the benefit of this important work and Diadel is so humble about the amazing job she does each day. Diadel and the program she directs supports children to learn, to play, to be engaged in their community and to form relationships with friends and teachers/school staff. She has certainly changed our lives for the better and we are proud that she has been nominated for this award!

Ame Solomon Posted 8 months ago

Diadel was instrumental in my being able to return to nursing school and complete the program while raising young children. I honestly don't know what my husband and I would have done without her! Through two very challenging years, we could count on Diadel like a family member. She watched over our youngest child, sometimes on days she wasn't even scheduled to work! She was like another mother to her, taking her under her wing, nurturing, encouraging, and caring for her as if she were her own. I have witnessed this amazing woman care for many children over the years. She treats them all with kindness and dignity, and the kids adore her. She is a true pillar in our community!

Robert Lehmert Posted 8 months ago

The Rotary Club of Montpelier funds operates the "backpack" program in continuous collaboration with Principal Hennessey's designated champion -- Diadel Ortiz. Our program provides weekend "care packages" of kid-friendly food to the 60 kids we serve every week at Union Elementary School. We couldn't operate this program without Diadel, the principal communicator, mover and shaker of the operation. Each bag has 6-7 items delivering around 2,000 nutritious calories. Handling this volume -- week after week --with discretion and grace is critical to its value. The program can make the difference between a child who comes to school alert and optimistic, and a child who will have a really bad day. Children shouldn't have to worry about going hungry, and for her stewardship and diligence, Diadel is a "lifechanger" for our whole community.

Rima Carlson Posted 8 months ago

My kids have done Community Connections and Sunday School with Diadel for 7 years. She has done summer camps for up to 4 weeks out of our church because she felt there was a need. My kids love her, and I feel so lucky to have such a caring and positive role model for them. "It takes a village to raise children", and I am so glad that Diadel is part of out "village"!

Sara B Lehtonen Posted 8 months ago

Diadel was a constant figure in the after school care for both my children. My children are older now and no longer attend after school but we still see her out and about and she is always there with a smile. She has always been compassionate, understanding and a positive influence to my children and others. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor than Diadel.

Olivia Campbell Andersen Posted 8 months ago

Diadel goes out of her way in both her work and volunteer time to improve our community. She has a positive impact on many children and families and truly treats others as she would her own children. She is very dedicated to sharing her talents with others. We are fortunate to have her in our lives.

Kristin Ridge Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a caring leader, who works to make a difference for so many. We are thankful for her contributions to make a stronger more caring community for kids and adults alike.

Judith Murphy Posted 8 months ago

Diadel demonstrates gracious generosity and deep caring. I know Diadel through my church and also an after school program I work in. Therefore I see her in different settings. Diadel is true to her thoughtful and caring persona regardless of the setting. It is who she is. I might add that whenever I encounter Diadel I always go away feeling more loved and appreciated. It is a very nice feeling. I am grateful to know Diadel Ortiz.

NORMA ORTIZ Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a wonderful person with passion for helping. She is dedicated with much pride in what she does. Its a pleasure in have a person like Diadel in your life. Shes that person that make a difference.

Jen Cote Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is a warm, caring, and loving person. She is a good listener and a wonderful friend. She always has kind words and a positive attitude. My daughter and I are lucky to have her in our lives!

Jacqueline Irlanda Posted 8 months ago

I met Diadel about 15 years ago in Jersey City. She was the Girl Scout leader of a troop my daughter joined. Diadel dedicated many years in the Girl Scouts. She was an excellent roll model to the girls. These girls are now adults and because of Diadel, the girls have a lasting bond and friendship until this day. She was a blessing to have been a part of our lives.

Denise Palmer Posted 8 months ago

Diadel is one-of-a-kind. She has always had a heart for children, as evidenced by her previous work with the Girl Scouts and the Boys and Girls Club, and her current work as the Program Director for Community Connections and a youth group leader. People of all ages look up to her. She is loving, patient, and kind. She's a great friend - always willing to listen and help. She sends inspirational messages and often does things to brighten someone's day. My life is better because she's in it, and I feel she is very deserving of this award. The world needs more people like her.

Ever Elivo Posted 9 months ago

I have met Diadel Ortiz through the tremendous accolades Cecilia Casanova has given of her. I've heard she is an amazing individual, very caring and compassionate. What a tremendous joy to know that news of her had work and dedication surpasses the limitation of physical presence.

Richard Zuker Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is simply wonderful. She has done so much for my daughter and me over these past five years. It is wonderful to read the outpouring of support and acknowledgment for all that she means to us. She deserves every word.

Diana Tierney Posted 9 months ago

For so many years I have worked with students who look forward to Community Connections. They love seeing their friends there and they take so much pride in the crafts they make. It's also wonderful to see them heading outside to play. She knows what is happening with every child!

Hannah Barden Posted 9 months ago

Thank you for all you do, Diadel! The work you do supports so many families by providing quality after school care, food for hungry families, and a listening ear!

Graham Fitch Posted 9 months ago

My wife and I both work full-time, which makes it imperative that we have after school care for our daughter, Lillian. Diadel made special arrangements to add Lillian to the Community Connections program mid-semester, after our previous after school program closed unexpectedly. She saved us from a a very stressful situation and we're thrilled with the result. Lillian loves the program as well, so much so that she hates to be picked up early. Thank you Diadel!

Steve Hingtgen Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has been influential in the lives of both our daughters who have attended Community Connections while in elementary school. Diadel is a loving and dedicated teacher and administrator and her program at Union Elementary School is essential to many many families.

Rene soto Posted 9 months ago

Ms Ortiz has touched so many students lives she is truly loved by her peers and students.she has always givin her time to nonprofit organizations to making sure children have meals for lunch .im honored to know her and see all the love and joy she brings to her students but also be able to call her family

Caryn Posted 9 months ago

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Diadel this year as one of her employees. Diadel hired me and has allowed me to work in my child’s grade after school, relieving much stress that comes with being able to spend ample time with your children. I absolutely enjoy being part of her team!

Holly Morehouse Posted 9 months ago

We know that the time that children and youth spend outside the school day and over the summer matters. Over a decade of research has shown that quality afterschool and summer learning programs can have a profound and long-lasting positive impact on the academic success, healthy development, and future achievement of our young people. Big thanks to Diadel for all that she's doing in the out-of-school time to support the children and youth in her community. Way to go, Diadel!

Kevin Marlier Posted 9 months ago

I met Diadel while teaching for an after-school art program once a week at Union Elementary. I recognized that Diadel was a leader who was always looking for ways to better the experience of the kids of Community Connections. Eventually, I began part-time to help enrich her vision of an after-school program that kids would really want to attend. Through her inspiration, I have found a career that is truly fulfilling. Her passion for helping children is contagious. With her support and encouragement, I have been blessed to create and teach an art program and to start a chess club. I know that my life has been changed for the better by working with Diadel. She creates a wonderful environment to help kids (and adults) grow, learn and have fun.

Anne Fraser Posted 9 months ago

I started working with Diadel this year and have been impressed with her dedication to each child's needs and her empathy towards family struggles and concerns! She sets high standards for her staff and her students which makes for a smooth running program. She challenges us teachers to tap into our strengths and share them with the students. I can tell that Diadel has long-established bonds with many of her families and that she means the world to them! She is clearly more than just the director of CC, but rather a trusted confidante and pillar of strength and support for our families.

Phoebe Hanson Posted 9 months ago

I met Diadel my freshman year of high school when her and her family moved to Vermont. Her daughter, Arealles, was in my class and quickly became one of my very dearest friends. Diadel always welcomed me into her home like I was part of her family. She has shared countless amazing meals and offered her love and support through out the years. I am so grateful to her for not only her generosity and warming hospitality but for giving me family outside of my own. She has a way of connecting with people that makes them feel truly seen. Since I was little I had dreamed of being a fairy. Diadel made that dream come true, she calls me her "fairy".

Yunki Kim Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is an example and a role model to Trinity United Methodist Church, especially her students in the Sunday School, by being an individual who speaks from her heart and being a person of faith who does not fear to stand up for others in need. On a personal note, for the past few years working with her, she has changed my life by challenging me to imagine beyond our four walls and to make an impact on the broader community. I am very proud and happy to witness her caring presence being unfolded through this nomination.

Sarah Truckle Posted 9 months ago

My son Owen has been at community connections with Diadel for 3 years now. Diadel is an amazing leader, a kind person, and a cheerleader for my son. Owen is dyslexic and school isn't always his favorite place. Diadel makes after-school fun and enjoyable which is key when working parents need coverage when the bell rings. However, Diadel goes above and beyond, she mentors my son, listens to him, and makes him feel validated. When he is frustrated at school he often goes to find her and just talks it out. She always has an open door policy and is willing to listen whenever needed. My son feels that he has someone who truly cares for him at school and that is Diadel. She is an asset to Union, an asset to Community Connections, and a true benefit for my son.

Sara Holquist Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has been incredibly kind to our family. Thank you for all you do!

Mia Posted 9 months ago

Diadel ensures the kids of Union Elementary continue their learning in the after-care program in a fun and playful way. She leads units on Spanish and Sign Language, and maintains an engaging curriculum for our kiddos. Her care and interest in the kids really shows - in addition to administration and curriculum, she takes time to get to know each child and let them know they are special.

Israel morales Posted 9 months ago

I've known Diadel my whole life. She is a great person very caring & kind. If you ever have the pleasure of going to her home she easily makes you feel like you're at home.

Amanda Islambouli Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel ever since I was a child. She was my Girl Scout Troop Leader and is a relative of a close friend of mine. Diadel was the most inspiring and caring Troop Leader, and is one of the most compassionate people I know. As a Girl Scout Leader, Diadel helped children from a very diverse background experience things they might have never experienced, and built up our self esteem and life skills. She is still always ready with a kind word or ready to extend a helping hand to those who need it. She is one of the most positive role models I could ever imagine, and I am forever inspired by her kind and caring ways!

Ari Charles Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel since high school. She is a faithful friend who would do anything to help someone. I am not surprised by his nomination at all. Diadel is the type of person who feels compassion for others and acts on it. She is a wonderful person and deserves this recognition.

Emily A. O. Wrigley Posted 9 months ago

For the past 10 years, Diadel has joined me in beginning every day in Kindergarten and First Grade with a song and smile, and personal compassion. He gentle approach to teaching children how to take care of themselves, their belongings and their classmates has served as a positive influence in shaping many, many, many students educational experience. Diadel routinely offers genuine care to her role as a collaborator, teacher and trusting colleague. Her fortitude and belief in the good of all people is easy to see in all of her work. I am forever grateful to her professionally and personally for her continued loving kindness. She is an inspiration for all that is good in education.

Ana Rojas Posted 9 months ago

It’s my pleasure writing about Diadel a lovable, caring, selfless beautiful human being. I am proud to call her my friend. Diadel and I go way back to primary school. We lived in the same block for many years. As the years passed we went separate ways but that didn’t keep us from keeping in touch with each other. The person that definitely deserves this recognition is Diadel Ortiz God bless

Nancy Posted 9 months ago

I've known Diadel for over 30 years and since high school she's always been a very sweet caring and loyal individual. Although, she never really liked the spotlight, she would be the first to volunteer to help. It’s just in her nature to help and do the right thing. That's why it's no surprise to hear that she's been nominated for this award! Diadel puts her heart in everything she does so whole-heartedly with joy and without seeking rewards but it is because of her generous heart and good nature that it is important to publicly recognize her efforts and show gratitude! She's a wonderful person and even a better friend! The world is a better place with people like Diadel in it!

Megan Flynn Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel since our high school days. She has always been a warm, friendly, and caring person.

Kelly Grey Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a fabulous leader, mentor, supervisor and friend. I've had the pleasure and fortune of knowing Diadel for many years as a fellow UES parent, as a friend and now as a coworker within Community Connections. When I first started out Diadel was there for me, to answer any question, to assist with anything and everything I didn't understand - and there was a lot that I didn't understand! Diadel is always there to lead, to assist, to inspire. She is a blessing to the children she leads and the coworkers that work along side her. There is nothing that she won't do for anyone. How blessed we are to have Diadel as a Life Changer of the Year. She is without a doubt, a Lifechanger for many in our community!

Liz Lawson Posted 9 months ago

I loved working for Diadel at Community Connections at Union Elementary School. She was wonderful with the children and provided them with a safe environment as well as meaningful activities. Over the two years that I worked with Diadel, we became good friends. She has always been supportive and gone above and beyond for others.

Georgina Cruzado (Dojer) Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel for over 30 years. She’s always been a loving, caring and kindhearted person. Because we are both educators, I know how involved one can become in the children's lives. You become like a parent to them. I know Diadel is going the extra mile to provide as much support as she can to them and their families. She is very deserving of this honor.

Mary Pond Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel for the last 10yrs. She was my youngest daughter mentor Friend an teacher She was loving an caring when my daughter was in Community Connections. Always there for her students an she never put one student better than the other They were all special in their own way. An to close this nominee for her She has been such a special person in our life that Diedal married my First Baby Girl! Hugs to Diadel

Ricardo Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is great leader and what ever she puts her mind to she can achieve. She is always smiling and caring.

Ellen hernandez Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel for almost 30 years. She has always had the biggest heart. She chose a profession that enables her to continue assisting anyone that needs it and broadening the minds of the children in her care.

Olga Armstrong Posted 9 months ago

Mrs Ortiz as a chil was very caring always helping other no matter what come on her way I'm very proud to be her Ant .I LOVE YOU DIADELL (TITA) .TITI :OLGA 757-806-8702

DiNora Rivera Posted 9 months ago

I would not think of anyone who will deserve this award better than Mrs.Ortiz..

Helen Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is the sweetest most thoughtful person you will ever meet. Her kindness is boundless. She helped my daughter develop leadership skills and a sense of self worth while being her Girls Scout Troop Leader. Diadel will always be special to my family.

Heather Posted 9 months ago

I have worked for Diadel at Union Elementary for four years now! Diadel has a dream and she makes it reality. She is here for the children, her employees at CC and the Union Elementary staff. She strives in making the children's experience here at CC fun, educational, loving, caring, safe and much, much more! She builds a relationship with her staff personally. She always has an open door, a shoulder to lean on and time to always listen when needed. She is a BIG part of this community and is willing to help out no matter the circumstances!

Sandra Italiano Posted 9 months ago

I've known Diadel for 30 years, since our high school days. She has always been a kind, devoted, selfless, individual who goes the extra mile to ensure the comfort and well-being of others. Enthusiasm, care, and dedication is quite evident in any task she takes on. She's a wonderful mother, friend, and mentor to many. Diadel has been a blessing to all who know and love her. She's quite deserving of this nomination.

Sandra Italiano Posted 9 months ago

I've known Diadel for 30 years, since our high school days. She has always been a kind, devoted, selfless, individual who goes the extra mile to ensure the comfort and well-being of others. Enthusiasm, care, and dedication is quite evident in any task she takes on. She's a wonderful mother, friend, and mentor to many. Diadel has been a blessing to all who know and love her. She's quite deserving of this nomination.

Carolyn Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has provided support to kids from all walks of life, as I have experienced by working for her. The kids, and parents, love Diadel!

Sylvia Fagin Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a vital member of our school community. Under her leadership, Community Connections is a valued after-school program which provides children and families with a safe, engaging environment. The programs are diverse and offer play, creativity, and friendship skill development to young people. She has worked hard to recruit and train qualified staff who truly care about young people and who have the skills to provide high-quality after school programming. She collaborates with school staff to ensure a smooth transition from the school day to after school. She is truly deserving of this honor!

Josephine Hayes Posted 9 months ago

I met Diadel in elementary school in third grade. As I grew older she and I would spend time together. I learned plenty from her which impacted my life in a positive way and until this day I am grateful. I have no doubt that she continues to do so with other people. I am thankful for having her in my life.

Jeffrey sarpong Posted 9 months ago

I strongly do agree with what's been said about Diadel above. It is a blessing having her in your life. There is a lot to learn from Diadel. Taylor picked a great mentor with a big heart and will do the same anytime!

Rebecca Girrell Posted 9 months ago

I was Diadel's pastor and supervisor for several years, and have always appreciated her openness and her love of others, especially children. My children absolutely love Diadel, and learned so much from her at church and at school. I'm excited to see how her work in the community has continued to grow, and I am delighted that she has been nominated in recognition of her deep care for others.

David E White Posted 9 months ago

Diadel Ortiz has done so much for her Church and community and all the children and families she has worked with. She is very deserving of this award.

Ileana Rivera Posted 9 months ago

Diadel, whom I’ve always called Tita, is nothing but a light in our lives. She’s is one of the most selfless individuals I’ve ever known. Not only is she a leader in her own right, but she is also my cousin. And many times throughout my childhood, she has assumed the mother role while under her care for Girl Scouts. She is so deserving of this award. Congrats Tita xo

Nils Feliciano Posted 9 months ago

I've known Diadel since childhood. Always been a great friend with a big heart and helpful to others

Virginia Burley Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is totally amazing. I worked with Diadel for so many years at Community Connections and was continually amazed at her creativity, professionalism, high standards, and love. So glad we hired her, so glad she is still here! An amazing person.Fantastic family. Love you.

Hazel Adams-Shango Posted 9 months ago

As a grandparent who is new to the Montpelier community this school year, Ms. Ortiz has been an invaluable resource to me and my grandson. She reached out to me immediately upon my arrival to ensure that I was made to feel welcome and to assure me that the Community Connections after school program would continue to work with us during this transitional period in our family life. Hailing from a large urban area as I do, Ms. Ortiz's daily smile and pleasant affect, as well as her very kind and giving heart, has been one of the most uniquely pleasurable experiences of my Montpelier experience thus far. In my opinion, she is worthy of this award and all of the accolades it includes!!

Andrea LaPierre Posted 9 months ago

This year will be the 5th year my daughter has participated in Community Connections, which Diadel is the leader of. Diadel has been an amazing leader and a wonderful example for my child and all the children that participate in the afterschool program. Diadel will always have a special spot in my and my child’s heart. She is truly a gift to our community.

Andrea Talentino Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is very caring and very committed to aiding students and the community. She knows how to bolster kids' confidence, and help them try new things. Very deserving for this award!

Cheryl Tetreault Posted 9 months ago

I had the honor of working for Community Connections for a year and a half under Diadel's leadership. She ensured a safe and active CC program. She was always flexible with any program change that would best meet the needs of the diverse CC community. She instilled an awareness in adhering to state childcare regulations and guidelines in all her employees. The children call her by her first name, but they recognize her as the core leader in the CC program. She not only cares about the well-being of the children in her care on a day to day basis but her staff as well. I will cherish my heart-to-heart conversations with Diadel and take away the positive spirit they inspired. She is food for the soul!

Cheryl Tetreault Posted 9 months ago

I served as an employee with Community Connections for a year and a half. Diadel ensured a safe and active program while being sure to follow all state child care regulations and guidelines. Always being flexible with any program changes that helped to meet the needs of the diverse CC community. Kids call her by her first name like they would any friend, but they definitely respect her as the core leader of the CC program. She not only has a genuine concern for the children but for her staff as well. I have always enjoyed my heart-to-heart conversations with Diadel. She's food for the soul!

Sandra Gonzalez Posted 9 months ago

There is no one more deserving. Diadel and I Are childhood friends. She was kind, compassionate, giving, etc back when we were kids and it’s apparent that she has not changed. Good luck my friend!

Susan Koch Posted 9 months ago

It is not often that you meet a person who is as optimistic and loving as Diadel. Our Union School community is fortunate to see Diadel’s energy, enthusiasm and kindness ripple through. She nurtured and cares for all of our learners and their families. Diadel is s gem.

Jamie Blondin Posted 9 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Diadel when I was site coordinator for another school within Community Connections. Diadel and I instantly clicked, and she became like a mentor to me. Diadel is compassionate, accepting, creative, flexible, engaging, encouraging, and the list goes on! What I learned most from her, though, is how important it is to show love. What kids, adults, all people need is someone who will be their biggest cheerleader who shows unconditional love & encouragement - that’s the essence of teaching and exactly what Diadel does each day. We remain good friends to this day and she is someone I turn to when I need that love. Diadel is more than deserving of this honor!

Robin Hersey Posted 9 months ago

I met Diadel when my daughter attended Community Connections at UES. My daughter was always a little leery of new people and social situations. Diadel became a second mother to her. She looked out for the kids as though they were her own. She put the children's needs above all else. Soon my daughter was a participating member of the Community Connections family. She developed a deep and lasting relationship with the children that continues today. I know many parents and children from Community Connections -- and from the community at large who feel like Diadel is a member of their family -- myself included. She has acted as my daughter's mentor on many occasions both academically and socially. She takes her role as mentor very seriously and though she is a mentor to many, many children, each one feels like she is theirs alone. She is truly a gift to my family, the UES community, Montpelier, and the State of Vermont. The children and parents of UES are so lucky to have such a caring and loving person working at the school and the bond they have with Diadel with last a lifetime <3.

Ellen Posted 9 months ago

Diadel and I go way back . She is a great supervisor co worker and friend. She's always there when you need advice on anything. Love working with her. She's an amazing woman mother and friend.

Kristina Kane Posted 9 months ago

Diadel Ortiz is a leader in the Union Elementary School community! Diadel makes a difference in the lives of people of all ages every single day - not only with her unconditional warmth and contagious enthusiasm, but with her passion for teaching and for helping others. I was lucky to teach in a classroom next door to her office for the past several years. Diadel goes above and beyond to offer a safe and welcoming after-school home to every child in her care, and she is dedicated to providing enriching experiences to kids that they might not otherwise enjoy. She builds community in her program and in our school by teaching lessons of cooperation, safety, responsibility and kindness. When children make mistakes or get in a conflict, Diadel helps them to solve the problem and learn from the experience. She treats everyone with respect and love. She packs groceries every week for UES families in need through a program that she leads at our school. She is an inspiration to me as a teacher and as a person! I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.

Mary C Mello Posted 9 months ago

Diadel Ortiz is one of those who make you feel a little better about the world. As a UES teacher, I had first hand knowledge of her work with the Backpack program. As her child's teacher, I remember many times when our school had to ask parents to send in money or donations and how often Diadel would send in a little extra knowing that many families will be be able to cover these extra expenses. Finally I want to share a story which shows Diadel's concern for the whole child. As director on Community Connections, she works to make sure that our children have friendly engaging home to go to after the school day. Diadel, however, wanted to give as much as she could o her CC children and came to me to ask what the program might be able to do for children who are struggling with academics. She does everything she can for the children under her care.

Kaitlyn Stone Posted 9 months ago

In the short period of time I have known Diadel, she has proven to be the sweetest, kindest, most caring person I know. She cares so deeply about those around her. She is always telling her staff that she is there for them and that her office is always open. Mrs. Ortiz is the glue that holds her staff together; not just because she's the Program Director, but because of her generosity and kind heart. Diadel is such a beautiful soul. She really is a blessing not only to me, but the children in Community Connections, and everyone around her. There isn't one person I have met that has had anything bad to say about Diadel. She is simply amazing!

Samantha Kolber Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a real asset to the community at Union Elementary School and beyond. My son Emmett attended the after school program there under Diadel's leadership many years ago - he is now in high school - but I still recall how caring Diadel was, and is. She really pays attention to each child and their needs. She gets to know the children and the parents, and makes sure the children are active and engaged - she really sees each child as an individual. This made me feel great about having my son in this program. I knew he wasn't just another mouth to feed or body to watch - he was an important member of the after school community with his needs being met by a caring adult. I always loved picking him up and talking to Diadel about educational pedagogy, and about her own family too. It was such a treat when she had her daughter and we got to watch her become a new mom all over again! A venture I also undertook recently - I have a teenager and a toddler now! And when I see Diadel in town, we hug and catch up like old friends. She has touched so many lives in this community. I believe she should win this award.

Elena Maldonado Posted 9 months ago

Diadel and I go back a long way in New Jersey. We met when she registered her daughter for the Brownie Girl Scouts. I immediately saw the potential Diadel had as a leader. Without hesitation when asked to assist in meetings or projects she was the first in line offering her expertise in craft making, baking and warm smiles. She always encouraged the girls to do more and when It was time for me to retire my 4 girl scout troops without hesitation Diadel stepped in to continue providing Girl Scouts in this much-needed community. I am grateful for this most extra ordinary woman for her dedication and hard work in helping to develop a team spirit within the Girl Scouts teaching them to be strong in decisions in life and helping those girls of all ages to go forward to be the best that they could be. One of the most important qualities that Diadel holds is the way she had the ability to help provide leadership, but also to put her best effort forward when the team was hard-pressed to meet any of the deadlines they had set. This created one of the best Girl Scout Troops in the community and because of her persistence in producing young ladies who would hold a promising future, she was able to make many friends and gained the respect of the community. Her work in the community as a volunteer creating a wonderful family of Girl Scouts that participated in many projects within the community during the holiday season was truly appreciated by all the parents and executive officers of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. Every one of those parents and girls has remarked on the difference she made to them and to the community till this day. I know this because my daughter was one of the young girls whom she took under her wing and the comments are never ending and she has never been forgotten. Keep up the good work for the future you will always be sincerely remembered and missed in New Jersey.

Marcela Calderon Posted 9 months ago

Diadel and I go back all the way to High School! She is a very thoughtful, kind , compassionate and loving human being. She is always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. I am not surprised to learn that she is a nominated as life changer of the year and can't think of anyone more deserving . Good luck friend. Love Marcy

Brandi Jagemann Posted 9 months ago

Amazing lady who has contributed so much to so many young lives!

Gladys Soto Posted 9 months ago

She a great mother. She loves to give back to her community and she’s amazing with her staff.

Alice Bell Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel for over 20 years. First, as the mother of one of my daughter's best friends. And second, as a co-leader in Girl Scouts. Diadel is a thoughtful, sincere and caring person. She has always displayed a love of children and a desire to see them live up to their potential. Through her leadership and creativity, her Girl Scout troop experienced tremendous membership and support. As a member of the non-profit sector, I can honestly say that the world needs more people like Diadel to serve as an example of thoughtfulness, integrity and the notion that we all need to give of our selves to create strong communities.

David O. Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has always had a calling for helping children, the community as well as adults. She has been doing this for as long as I know her which is over 25 years. Volunteering as head leader for Girl Scouts, working at the Boys and girls Club in Jersey City NJ, St Monica's in Barre, CC in Montpelier, back pack lunch program for UES and working at Trinity Methodist Church in Montpelier. If a child does not seem happy she will find a way to get them to smile and brighten up their day. If a child is difficult she'll find a way to connect with them. If an adult just needs someone to speak to freely she is also available She is definitely a treasure to all humans who come in contact with her and one of the most humblest. This nomination is a testament to her dedication of helping others.

Nora Dietz Posted 9 months ago

I'm lucky enough to have known Diadel Ortiz for more than half of my life. I have known her as my girl scout troop leader and friend. As a girl scout troop leader, Diadel consistently went above and beyond for the young girls she mentored. Even when resources weren't plentiful, Diadel managed to put together engaging activities and immersive trips while ensuring a valuable life lesson was always included. I may not know how to start a fire in the woods, but I am well aware of the value of kindness even in the face of adversity because of the lessons Diadel taught me. I am forever grateful to have met her and to have shared so many memories with her family. Diadel's selflessness and genuine love for humankind will forever resonate with me. There is no one more deserving of LifeChanger of the Year.

Jon Adams Posted 9 months ago

Words can't express how Diadel has had a positive effect on my child's life. Diadel is an extremely positive and observant person who cares deeply about the children and people that she works with. I can personally attest that when I was experiencing a fast, unexpected and rough transition that involved my child moving to this state, she made it very easy for him to readjust and integrate back into the community. Words cannot express how grateful I am for her and the lengths she went to make it happen for my son. Thank you Diadel, you are definitely a life changer.

Valentyn Smith Posted 9 months ago

Diadel welcomed my son and I to Montpelier with her genuine warmth, love and passion for community. I am a young, single mom who moved to Vermont in order to attend graduate school. Because I do not currently have the financial ability to afford after-school services for my son while attending a F/T program, I was encouraged to apply for a grant through the guidance of Diadel. She was immediately supportive and encouraging to my son and I. She recognizes each person for who they are and works to tailor her after school's curriculum to meet their needs. When my son was being bullied by a student in school, she reached out and made sure to emotionally support both him and I. She even gifted my son a book from the school book fair, out of her own pocket, to show him her appreciation after my son experienced a tough week from the bully who had hurt him. Diadel also performed this act of kindness because my son had assisted her in teaching other students sign language during her signing class and she felt it was important to nourish that love for helping others in my son. My son is mentored in kindness, empathy and mindfulness because of Diadel's involvement as a Director and stronghold of Community Connections. Diadel takes the time to connect with families because she deeply cares for their well being. Her door is always open to parents and she is a constant staple of inspiration in Montpelier' s community. I believe that Diadel is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary heart at work, young learners and families who have the opportunity to work with her are truly blessed and it would be absolutely wonderful if this would be further noted, as well as appreciated by the community as a whole.

Makiko Damon Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is the one of most heart warming people I ever met for sure. I met Diadel through my girls' afterschool program over 3yrs ago. And I fell in serious ill for several months about 2years ago. It was very hard time for me as a single mom for two little daughters. But luckily I had Diadel in my life. She was very supportive for me and daughter and ask people for donations for us. I couldn't go through it without her support. Diadel is not just nice person. She is real hard working woman as well. So she is always working and helping people and the community. Sometimes she works for people Too Much!! But she can't stop it. That's Diadel. I love her and all we love her. I'm so grateful I met her in my life!

Matt Lofgren Posted 9 months ago

My daughter was enrolled in the Union Elementary School Community Connection program from 2013-2017 and I couldn't agree more with this nomination. Diadel was always helpful, considerate and really took the time to accommodate my daughter and things she was going through. I have always been so thankful of Diadel and the program she runs. She has made a huge positive impact in our lives.

Victoria Kuskowski Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a wonderful coordinator, caregiver and person. When my son Otis was in kindergarten he did three days of Community Connections each week. I was going through cancer treatment and Diadel was always there to help him out or to send me kind words of encouragement and love. She is a beautiful person with a wonderful heart and I'm so happy to see her nominated for this award!

Lindsay Armstrong Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is certainly a gift to all the kiddos-all the families-that she works and plays so hard and well with. We are blessed to have her in this community!

Darcy Hess Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a god send, She is an amazing person who truly cares about the kids and is fully investing in enriching the lives of the kids as well as the parents. My daughter has been enrolled in the program since she started Kindergarten (now in 3rd) and is in LOVE with everything she does each day. She is a ray of sunshine every time I see her and is always coming up with new and exciting things for the kids to do.

Karmen S. Posted 9 months ago

There are not enough words to describe how kindhearted, loving, caring and truly genuine person Diadel is. I have known Diadel since we were both in the 3rd grade. Diadel was my childhood best friend, she opened her home to my brothers and me when we were little kids living in the same block. She was always so generous with her love,and friendship through the years, even after moving so far, she manages to send her love through and it always radiates just like when we were kids. She is very deserving of this recognition but it’s always been something that all her family and friends knew of Diadel, we are the lucky ones to have her in our lives

carmen cecilia Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Ortiz is my daugther; and since she was a little girl she was always very smart 'I am very proud of my girl and also the work she do everyday. Because she enjoy been with children around her. God Bless You

Jazelle H Posted 9 months ago

I met Diadel as a child — she was the art room supervisor at my local Boys & Girls Club, where I spent a lot of time after school. Diadel's room was my favorite place at the club. She was warm, fun, and allowed us to be who we were. Though we were children/teens, she took us seriously. I was a shy and quiet kid, which often rendered me either invisible, or a target of my peers. In the art room, though, my meekness didn't mean that I had nothing to offer. Diadel praised and encouraged my creativity, gave me responsibilities now and then, and simply got to know me. I'm 30 years old now and I am still so glad we crossed paths. I haven't seen Diadel in many years, but my mother is Facebook friends with her, which is how I found out about this nomination. I am SO HAPPY Diadel is still working with young people and their families. I hope that good things come to her as a result of this nomination. It is WELL DESERVED.

Marlene Ramos Posted 9 months ago

I couldn’t agree more with what was written about Diadel. She is my daughters aunt and has been an influencal part in her life. She is constantly enforcing positivity, kindness, and love. She motivates my daughter to be the best person she can be and always lets her know she is there for her. Despite living quite far from us she makes it a point to always stay in touch with her and me. She sends for my daughter every summer and loves spending time with her. My daughter adores her aunt and so do I because Of the amazing person she is and her appetite for helping others as often as possible. Although I’m not with my daughters dad, who is her brother, she still treats me as family and lends a hand if we need it. I’m honored to have her in our life and love her very much. If anyone deserves this nomination and to win it, it would be her.

Karen Rodis Posted 9 months ago

From 2011-2014 I taught at Union Elementary School, and my classroom was adjacent to the Community Connections room. I had the privilege of being a "fly on the wall" during after school hours, and was always impressed with the ways Diadel connected with the kids. After school is a challenging time, since kids arrive at their destinations tired, hungry, and eager for a blend of downtime and enrichment. Diadel's programs provided for all the kids' needs. Her incredible patience, her amazing communication skills, and her tremendous loving heart helped our students feel loved and cared for. And as a colleague and a friend, Diadel was always there with a sweet note, thoughtful gift, or enormous hug during my own hard times. She has been a role model for me, and I can only hope that I am half the teacher and friend Diadel is!

Maria LEAK Posted 9 months ago

A genuinely beautiful human being who loves and gives unconditionally those in need. She is such a blessing to her family and community.

Arlene Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is a long time friend of mine. There are no greater words out there to express how much she means to me. She is extremely kindhearted, passionate and dedicated. I’m so proud to have her in my life. She deserves any greatness in her life!

Theresa Giffin Posted 9 months ago

I have know Diadel Ortiz since she became the Director of the Union School After School Program in Montpelier, Vermont. For 3 years we co-shared an office space. From the start I have been so impressed with Diadel's commitment, not only to her students, but additionally, to her staff. Diadel recognized early on that in order to benefit the students in the program, she needed to provide training and support systems for the staff. This attention allowed for her staff to grow in their understanding of child development so that they could create a creative, energetic and integrated program for the students. It is important to note, that this is an extreme challenge in that the children in this program vary in age from Kindergarten to Fifth grade--a huge span! As well, these students are tired and needing a dose of independence and relaxation after a long day of school followed by an afterschool program. I have been especially impressed with Diadel's OWN commitment to developing her skills and knowledge. I have witnessed on many occasions her participation in on-line professional development opportunities to better her knowledge base. Also, Diadel, herself, always seeks advice from other professionals to extend her growth as a professional. Diadel is a caring and devoted educator who truly goes above and beyond to meet the needs of each individual child she encounters. She has made a huge difference in the lives of so many Montpelier children---and their successful and confident futures.

Darlene Posted 9 months ago

I was part of the Girl Scouts program when I met Ms. Ortiz. She was our troop leader and always welcomed us with a big smile and a hug. She never failed to show us that she genuinely cared and was there to help us no matter what. She made my short time as a girl scout an experience I'll never forget.

Laurie Hanson Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel Ortiz for many years. She is a vibrant and active member of our community here in Montpelier and goes above and beyond to make sure those who are disenfranchised never go without. She is generous, kind and a true visionary. I can't think of another individual more worthy of this award. Thank you Diadel for being the wonderful person you are!!

Berenice Sarafzade Posted 9 months ago

I have know Diadel for 8 years and have had the opportunity to see the amazing work she has done in the community and the school. Both my kids had her as their mentor in both after school program through community connections and in Sunday school at United Methodist Church. Her dedication to the children in the community has demonstrated the impact one person can make and she is a true example of dedication and love for our community. In the time I've known her, no matter the place or time she always has a smile and a welcoming heart, she radiates happiness and compassion and ready to help. It is an honor to know her and I know I have a true friend in her. Thank you Diadel!

Naly Santiago Posted 9 months ago

That’s our Jersey City Diadel! Always working and willing to help. Love her!

Nathali Madrid Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has always been a kind and caring person. She genuinely cares about her community and makes the best effort she can to help those in need. She is a mentor and a role model and there has not been a better selection for Lifechanger of the Year.

Alexandria Mezyad Posted 9 months ago

Growing up, Diadel Ortiz was my Girl Scout leader. She always took the time to motivate not only me but the other troop members to strive for the things we believe in. Diadel always supported my goals And dreams. Because of her love for community service, it taught me the value of giving back to others and living life with an open and nonjudgmental heart. Now as an adult, I worked my way towards achieving my masters in counseling psychology. I work as a psychotherapist and giving back to my community. If it wasn't for Diadel's big heart, patience and dedication to influencing the young women in our troop, I wouldn't be where I am today. Anyone who is in her presence is lucky and can feel her love radiating! I think she is the perfect person for this nomination and her life is a reflection of the work she has done!

Joyce K. Wheeler Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel since her daughter attended my Child Care. She is the most helpful and loving person I know. She is always ready to step up when a hand is needed. She often will extend her hand to help before anyone can ask her. Diadel is very well educated and proficient in children and their needs. She excels in the plane of childcare and community service. At our church she helps all the children learn about our religion and promotes self awareness and how to relate with the other children. There is not one other person whom I hold in such hig regards. Sincerely, Joyce Wheeler

GEORGE Peterson Posted 9 months ago

I have known Ms Ortiz and her family for well over thirty years Diaidel ‘s mother was active in the schools and would be open and warm with the children and staff slats. Diadel has been blessed with her mother’s joy of life.

Sonia Roman Posted 9 months ago

Where do I begin? Diadel Ortiz is one of the most self-less individuals that I know. She gives of herself to help others without a second thought. In the world that we are presently living, it has become evident that many are just thinking of themselves, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everyone is this way, but those individuals that sacrifice their time, space, heart & spirit become so much more noticeable. She's an exceptional mother to her two girls. An exemplary wife to her husband. Family is so important to her. She trickles that caring spirit to those that are in need. Its important to her that those that surround her, and even beyond her circle, are okay. How beautiful is that?! I am truly honored & blessed to have Diadel in my life. This world is a better place because she is part of it. I KNOW I am truly better for it. Blessings & light.

Carmen Gusan Posted 9 months ago

Diadle has been teaching for many years at Trinity United Methodist Church in Montpeler. The children love her! She brings so much love, light and education to the Sunday School program. She been a great teacher and the children love her.

Chayanne Posted 9 months ago

If anyone is deserving of this recognition, it would be Diadel. She was my Girl Scout leader, camp teacher, and my neighbor when I was younger. T

Frank Delsolar Posted 9 months ago

Words can’t describe how wonderful Diadel is. She’s always there when you need her and will help you out in any way. Working under her was one the best experiences I’ve had. She changed my life and know she will continue to change others.

Jeffrey Sarpong Posted 9 months ago

I strongly do agree with the part as Diadel being a great role model for students at union elementary school. She's a great boss and a very good one to admire.

April Caspari Posted 9 months ago

Diadel has also been an inspiration in my life! After working for her she has keep in touch with me and has always been there for my son and I. We love you Diadel!

Renee Hinton Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is one of the most loving, caring, selfless people I know. When I was struggling making ends meet, she allowed me to work for her. When I was pregnant and miscarried, she sent me home, prayed with me, sent me uplifting emails, and always encouraged me. She always thinks of ways she can help others. I am blessed to know her and call her my friend.

Jenny Campbell Posted 9 months ago

I've had the pleasure of knowing Diadel for over ten years. She's an amazing human being!

Aaron Little Posted 9 months ago

Diadel and her daughter Arealles have genuinely cared for my daughter since she started the first grade at Union Elementary. The have the love of God in their hearts and love all of our children as their own. Kindness and gentleness precede them and the Community Connections program is formed with these values. Our children and community are so blessed to have them. In Mark 12:29-31, The Lord Jesus tells us to love our neighbor- Diadel and her family do this well! 29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Thank you Diadel and the Ortiz family! We love you

Erica Pearson Posted 9 months ago

Diadel is one of the strongest, most giving people I have had the pleasure of knowing. She truly cares for all human beings and she the kind of person who makes the world kinder. I am proud to have called her a colleague and more proud to call her a friend. Much love and respect to Diadel.

Aleesha Posted 9 months ago

I have known Diadel since I was 6 years old. She was my Girl Scout leader. She not only taught us how to be strong women but inspired us to achieve our goals and dreams. Because of her , I never doubt myself even when I feel like nothing is going plan. She’s such a beautiful person , inside and out.

Arealles Ortiz Posted 9 months ago

Not only is Diadel my mother but she is my boss at Community Connections After School Program. She is the ultimate role model for the children in the school and does everything in her power to help struggling students succeed. She makes it her priority to teach the children about kindess, teamwork, and empathy. I and many others admire her ability to commit herself fully to the community!

Ernest Colon Posted 9 months ago

Mrs Ortiz is the coolest person , teacher, mother, friend , parent, mentor you could ever ask for !! I would know because she's my Big sister, who always looked out for her little brother since we were kids. (Hi LILA) Congratulations sis , it couldn't have happen to a better person.

Maria Diaz Posted 9 months ago

What a wonderful and thoughtful gesture from Mrs. Ortiz. The world is a better place because of teachers like you. I love you and am honored to know you. Congrats!