How does your role fit into the organization as a whole?
I am honored to serve JA of Georiga by giving students the opportunity to learn from volunteers at the JA Discovery Centers. These volunteers represent grown-ups from all walks of life and are willing to share their stories and experience with students visiting the JA Discovery Centers. My role is to steward these volunteers, help them see their value, and help them gain the personal and professional development skills that comes from philanthropic giving of time and treasure. So, basically, my role is to invite great people to the JA Discovery Centers to help inspire our future leaders!
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
At times it is challenging to get volunteer champions (our name for a volunteer source's point of contact) from groups to share the passion that I have for JA and the role of a volunteer. My inspiration has been fueled by the stories I hear and the students whose lives have been changed by the simulations. The passion that lives in my heart undoubtedly comes out when I am doing recruitment events, or speaking one-on-one with a volunteer, but for our volunteer champions, it is not always as forthcoming. Helping them to express their passion and convey it to their colleagues is something we are consistently working towards.
What do you like most about your role?
My 2 favorite times of the day are the morning and the afternoon of a volunteer day. In the morning, most volunteers are nervous and unsure about what will come of their day. We like to make them laugh and help set their minds at ease. We are given the unique opportunity to help people build new personal and professional relationships while volunteering. I enjoy watching people make friends and make connections throughout the Gwinnett community during the morning arrival time. I also love seeing a show of hands of how many return volunteers we have! In the afternoon, the volunteers share their stories about the day. The stories are funny, heart wrenching, life changing, and inspiring. Every volunteer debrief is a reminder of why we are here! Who says volunteers can’t have those “ah-ha moments” too?!
What motivates you?
Service! Sharing those one-on-one conversations with volunteers after their day or reading an email that says “thank you for having me…truly changed my life” keeps me going. So many adults walk the earth thinking that they have nothing to give. Serving others through our talent or treasure can help us find our worth and I am happy when someone finds their individual value in Service.
Advice for the next generation?
If you find a role or a field that you are truly passionate about, you will watch yourself excel professionally and personally. It’s never too late to begin listening to your heart and becoming a more compassionate and hardworking person…just never forget why you are here and that you can make a difference.