For Marlene (New York) volunteering is about helping others by becoming a supporter for them. Marlene believes that she was very fortunate to have had her parents as her lifelong supporters. but she realizes that there are many who are not as fortunate. For her, lack of access to role models and simple everyday conversations with experienced people can become a significant barrier to progress, “…it holds young people back from reaching their true potential”, says Marlene.
Growing up, Marlene was deeply motivated by her dad who was a deacon in a church in Bronx. He was always reaching out to help at nursing homes, homeless shelters. “He as a strong pillar of support for the community” adds Marlene. Marlene recounts how passionately her dad would teach adults from their community basic literacy skills. It was a surprise for young Marlene that adult illiteracy existed at all. She also remembers the story her dad would recount about a guy who many had given up on but who would wake up every morning to go to work and eventually got himself out of a homeless shelter. This spirit of empowerment is what drives Marlene to volunteer and recalls her volunteering with the “Dress for Success” organization very relevant to her life principles and values.
Marlene recently volunteered to help a young woman prepare for interviews, “The person who i got involved with was a very young mother from a low income housing community”, says Marlene, “It was very empowering to see a young mother taking the time to invest in herself and prepare for interviews while having the logistics of picking up her baby in the PM running through her head”. Apparently, this young woman was so beaming with positive energy and enthusiasm that Marlene can still feel this excitement several months after the volunteering event. It is exciting to see inspirers getting inspired.
Marlene believes that she is best at volunteering on opportunities where she is able to share skills she has picked up as a professional and talents that have contributed to her career success. “That young woman was a great listener and it was an honor to create the ‘first corporate’ experience for her during the mock interview”, says Marlene. Marlene wishes she could have spent more time with her and ideally to have been with her during the interview on the following day.
That experience inspires Marlene to find the time and volunteer more. ” I feel an obligation to volunteer”, says Marlene. Marlene believes that volunteering experiences, no matter how brief, allow us to take a step back from our daily grinds and serve as opportunities to get a renewed perspective on life, “they moments allow me to appreciate what I have… and energy to share it.” says Marlene.
In the past Marlene has volunteered for kids in need who were going back to school (California), temporary foster care (California) and preparing meals for the homebound (“Gods Love We Deliver”, New York)
Words that summarize volunteering experiences:
- Volunteering is an opportunity to get a renewed perspective on life
- It is an honor to create first time experiences working with young people
No related posts.