Karla Barillas, talent acquisition consultant with Associated in Milwaukee, was honored for her strong community commitment recently with a NEWaukee Bubbler Award. The awards are given — based on nominations from peers and community members — to individuals who have helped shape the city’s future and who clearly live their passion for community.

“It’s a great honor for me to be a Bubbler Award recipient,” Barillas said. “I help out in the community any way I can to make a difference in the areas of education, health and youth development. I never expected to be nominated!”

In the community, Barillas serves on the American Heart Association (AHA) Por Tu Corazon Event Committee and the Passion Committee, representing the ”Go Red For Women” movement; tutors inner-city youth at Summit, volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club (for the past 13 years); serves as a board member for the League of United Latin American Citizens; and belongs to a variety of professional organizations, like FUEL Milwaukee, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and Milwaukee Corporate Recruiters.

At Associated, she is involved in a variety of colleague resource groups and volunteer activities.

“Volunteering allows me to connect to my community and make it a better place,” Barillas said. “It’s the little things that you give or do every day that count.”

Her parents left everything they had in her home country of San Salvador, El Salvador, in hopes of giving her and her sister a better education and future. Throughout her life, Barillas had mentors who taught her firsthand what it is to make a difference.

“Whether it was teaching me to speak English, tutoring me in academics or simply serving as a role model — without these individuals, and programs like Boys and Girls Club, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Barillas. “This is why I pay it forward by offering my time, knowledge and skills to serve the Milwaukee community.”

Photo caption: Karla Barillas accepts her award at the recent NEWaukee Bubbler Awards.