Long Beach Student Honored with National Award for Volunteerism

At the young age of four, Jonas Corona was inspired and driven to help people. After visiting Skid Row with his mother to feed the homeless, he decided that he wanted to do more. With the help from his mother, Renee Corona, Jonas founded the nonprofit organization Love in the Mirror, which provides disadvantaged youth and their families with basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials.

Jonas and his family help organize Love in the Mirror’s collection drives for socks and other hygiene items. The family also regularly distributes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to homeless shelters in the area.

Since its founding in 2009, Jonas and the organization have impacted more than 45,000 people through donations and fundraising. “Everyone should look in the mirror and love what they see. That’s the meaning behind the organization’s name,” Jonas said.

Jonas’ commitment and hard work to help others has garnered him recognition in his community, and now also nationally. In late November, the 13-year-old was one of four teens from across the country recognized by Nickelodeon as a young community leader, earning him a 2016 Nickelodeon HALO Award.

The same dedication that Jonas shows to Love in the Mirror is also evident in his commitment and passion for tennis.  Jonas aspires to become a professional tennis player, using the money he earns playing tennis to support Love in the Mirror.

Seeking a more flexible school schedule to allow him to focus on tennis and Love in the Mirror, Jonas enrolled at California Virtual Academy (CAVA), an online public school.

Now in his third year with CAVA, Renee Corona noted that online school is instilling the importance of time management in Jonas. If he gets behind on schoolwork or tennis, then he cannot do as much for Love in the Mirror. Jonas has to stay disciplined to keep all three balls in the air.

Receiving a 2016 Nickelodeon HALO Award was a highlight and exciting moment for Jonas, and he enjoyed gathering with friends and family for a watch party to celebrate the occasion when the awards show aired. But, now it’s back to the normal – tennis practice, coordinating the 4th Annual Toy Giveaway for Love in the Mirror on December 18, and maintaining focus on his schoolwork.

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Byline: Donna Savarese, Lead Corporate Communications and Public Relations for K12 Inc.

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