Braxs receives award for community service

Virginia Braxs, lecturer in Spanish in Romance languages and literatures in Arts & Sciences, has received the Esperanza Award for excellence in community service from the Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis.

Virginia Braxs
Virginia Braxs

Braxs is coordinator of community service programs for students of Spanish.

“It is wonderful to be recognized by the community we are serving,” Braxs said. “I think this award should also be shared with the Romance languages and literatures department’s Spanish student tutors and volunteers involved in the Cambios, Ninios, Amigos and La Clinica volunteer programs, serving underprivileged Hispanic adults, kids and youth groups in St. Louis.”

The Cambios Program was created six years ago in conjunction with Catholic Community Service’s Hispanic Center, a nonprofit agency in St. Louis. The Ninios Program was started three years ago in connection with Accion Social Comunitaria, another nonprofit agency serving Hispanics in St. Louis.

Both programs, and Amigos, aim to involve Spanish students tutoring local Hispanic youths.

La Clinica is a free clinic for St. Louis Hispanics staffed by volunteers from WUSTL and Saint Louis University.

Braxs is creating a “Gateway to the Future Program” for next year, which will be a bridge between high school and either community college or the job market for underprivileged Hispanic youth, with the collaboration of faculty and graduate students at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and the students of Spanish in Romance languages and literatures.

“I am grateful and privileged to be part of the outreach efforts in the department and the possibility they give me and the students to serve the Hispanic community in St. Louis,” Braxs said.

For more information on Romance languages and literatures’ volunteer programs for students of Spanish, go online to