What is your current job?
I work in the development department at the Children’s Home Society of Florida.
My first favorite part of working here is when I bring people in the community to get presents, clothes, and much more during our Holiday Drive. I’ve seen so many smiles and gotten so many hugs and cards of appreciation just for being able to give on behalf of my company. My second favorite part on the job is when I get to create the content and design of how the message “Embracing Children. Inspiring Lives.” gets spread across to the people who have a chance of donating or attending the events that help our kids.
What is your experience in the nonprofit sector?
This lifestyle of volunteering and caring that I’ve encompassed all started in the church at 14 years old when I taught 3-5 year olds Bible stories and songs. I grew up loving all people and animals. When I got into the National Honor’s Society in high school, I grabbed every opportunity to volunteer, fulfilling my required hours and then some. I’ve volunteered with JDRF for Diabetes, World Relief Jacksonville, Relay for Life, and Ronald McDonald House. I’ve volunteered at countless animal shelters, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and elementary schools. It’s a real passion that I can’t hide. When I decided on my major in college, I chose to mix my passion with something I’m very talented in: writing. I wanted to be the voice for nonprofits and raise awareness and spread my passion across the area, across the globe. I’m very blessed that at my work, I get the opportunity to spread the message of the Children’s Home Society of Florida.
What is your favorite nonprofit program or event?
I have love for all programs at CHS, but I work directly under the Regional Director of Philanthropy who has been determined to see one in particular succeed, the Perinatal Program. This program works to help our clients who are young mothers and fathers successfully raise their families. This really ties into one of our mission statements of breaking the cycle of abuse in society, which is utterly important because 65% of moms are abused as children, but this program is in place to lessen that statistic.
Who do you look up to as a professional mentor or role model?
My advisor and professor in college, Dennis Stouse, really believed in me and saw a light in me that he pushed to shine. He never let my ambition and determination burn out. I was just about to quickly finish my degree without an internship, but he recalled an alumni of his who started a small public relations agency that solely does work for nonprofit clients and he set me up to work with her. Since they were small, they needed to put me to work. I got so much jam-packed experience with many different nonprofits all thanks to him.
How has networking proven to be beneficial for you?
Networking can be frightening, and professional tests will tell you I’m an introvert in personality, but it all boils down to who you know. I’ve been able to meet all sorts of people in community outreach and I’ve built up quite a collection of thank you cards from different organizations and a huge contact list. This is both great for me and CHS; if I ever need anything or my company does there are people I know who have my back and know I have theirs as well.
How did you become involved with YNPN?
A coworker had informed me about YNPN and told me that it would help me meet people like me with the same passions. I am happy to say that I have been able to use the resources and tools that YNPN has to offer.