Imagine you're at work. It's 3 PM. No matter how much you love your job—and you're lucky, you do—it's that inevitable point in the day where your mind wanders. You stare off into your cubicle wall or out an office window. You reflect: "I'm so thankful I finally have a job I love. My team is incredible. My career is growing. Still, something is missing. Something outside of this office. There's more I could be doing. I want to give back somehow. But where on earth do I begin?"
Growing up Ashley always had a passion for community service. She volunteered throughout her childhood and college studies on mission trips, alternative spring breaks, hurricane relief efforts, and STEM programs for youth. As an adult Ashley, now a risk management professional in New York City, held tight to this passion. She knew there was more she could be doing to help her community while growing her leadership skills.
Last winter, Ashley helped coordinate an event at her financial firm, where employees could learn about local nonprofits and hear inspiring stories from panelists about devoting their time as nonprofit board members. Little did Ashley know she would be one of the employees inspired to get more involved! At the event, she learned about United Way of New York City's BoardServeNYC, a program that trains individuals to become effective board members and connects them to local nonprofits interested in strengthening their boards. Before the night was over, Ashley was signed up and accepted to a BoardServeNYC training session.
“The training gave me a new appreciation for how much work, time, and energy it takes to be a valuable board member,” said Ashley. “Learning about the expectations for nonprofit board members—especially the need for a well-structured charter and the criticality of following local laws—allowed me to better understand the perspectives of my firm’s board members, and to prepare me to serve on a board myself one day.”
Today, Ashley is an active member of United Way of New York City’s Young Leaders Council Executive Committee. Serving on the Young Leaders Council has helped her both personally and professionally, improving her leadership skills, public speaking, strategic thinking, and negotiation ability. Ashley has even served as a panel member for the Young Leaders Council Impact Series where she shared her passion for helping the community, and helped motivate other young professionals to give back.
“The chance that sharing my story could influence just one person to go out there and do something positive for our City is a wonderful thing,” said Ashley. “The BoardServeNYC program and my experience volunteering with United Way of New York City has made me an overall better person.”
If you, like Ashley, are itching to do more for your community and grow your leadership skills, join BoardServeNYC! Our next training session is Monday, March 19, 2018.