HomeNewsSusan Abrahams: Local volunteer hero inspires by example

Susan Abrahams: Local volunteer hero inspires by example

By: MAISY BOCKUS

Wearing a Carmel High School sweatshirt before her son’s lacrosse game, Susan Abrahams sits on a sunny picnic bench on campus, a location that is practically her second home. Like a bee to a flower, Abrahams not only lives and breathes her work, but she brightens the day with her warm hugs and joyous laughter. Abrahams is not just a person one knows, but a person one quickly learns to call a friend.

A devoted mother, wife, and community member, Abrahams works tirelessly volunteering in the local area, organizing events for Padre Parents–a group of CHS parents dedicated to improving school climate–and helping her children’s sports teams. Along with her extensive participation, she puts her heart and soul into anything she does, whether this is helping her daughter in cheerleading or dressing up in St. Patrick’s day garb for a countdown celebration for CHS seniors called a minute party.

“Susan just has a passion for everything she does. It is just the way she is,” notes Mark Abrahams, her husband. “She gets so happy. She gets so joyed about whether it’s the activities or watching the games or the fundraisers or how successful they are.”

Abrahams has great respect for the special community of CHS. She shows her appreciation in her leadership of academic recognition events for students that provide Chipotle lunches or even Coldstone ice creams. She also leads the organization of teacher appreciation functions that feature a dizzying array of sandwiches, desserts, raffles, drinks, and festive decorations.

“I like to be available to help,” Abrahams says. “It is very important for me to give back. We are in a public school. And it’s really important to do anything to help in any area that is needed… I feel a big sense of community here.”

Her selfless temperament and generosity are exemplified in commitments such as offering endless hours of support to lacrosse players as team mom. She also works with Padre Parents where she has the opportunity improve student life, for example, giving funds to purchase new classroom books. As she frequents campus, students readily recognize her enthusiasm.

“She is a very, kind compassionate person who is really involved in students and anyone she gets to know,” CHS senior San Campione observes. “She’s really looking for a better Carmel High School and that it can function as best as possible.”

Always cheering at football games in CHS spiritwear, the avid volunteer goes above and beyond in her engagements like the Super Bowl Raffle Ticket fundraiser and last year’s Austin Powers- themed Sober Grad, an event encouraging a drug and alcohol-free graduation. Whether it be arranging senior minute parties or volunteering for AIM for Mental Health, a nonprofit based in the Monterey area for the mental health of children and teens, her willingness to go out of her way to assist others is evident.

“I want to help everyone [at CHS],” Abrahams explains. “And I want to make it nice in any way that I can.”

Abrahams’ passion for CHS originates from her devotion as a mother. With divorced and working parents as a child, Abrahams took on a motherly responsibility for her brother and maintained this maternal role ever since. Her childhood was not glorious, but now she wants to be there for her children–family is priority number one.

In fact, the mother of two moved to the area for the schools, and she values the community so much that when her husband dropped a piece of gum in a local ice plant, she was adamant about him picking it up. When asked about the event, her husband laughs that Abrahams absolutely refuses to damage the beautiful place where they live.

“I love the community, and I have always had a huge passion for this area because I have been coming here ever since I can remember,” Abrahams reveals. “My grandfather used to take me down to see the sea otters. I feel incredibly passionate for this community. So passionate that I have never littered here. Not a piece a paper. Not a crumb… You can’t litter here it’s so precious.”

Without a doubt, on the Monterey Peninsula Abrahams is a valued community member who strives to create a loving environment at home as well as the local area through volunteering, fundraising, or even throwing parties. Her selfless dedication to CHS, local nonprofits, and her family make smiling around her irresistible.

“Susan is an amazing member of our community,” observes Gianluca Douros, a family friend and CHS student. “She and many others are the force behind many CHS activities like dances, luncheons, and minute parties.”

For someone who began working at age thirteen and spent countless years volunteering, the California native does not need her name on a wall or engraved in a metal placard. She simply wishes to make the world a little bit better and create positive change.

“Think of me fondly and that I was someone as reliable and that you could count on me to help if you needed help,” Abrahams remarks. “Remember me as being kind and loving and a good parent and a good friend.”

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