Volunteering outside of work
My community service work at Vanguard inspired me to become more involved in my spare time as well. I’ve always been passionate about the arts, and growing up, I took years of ballet lessons. I knew once I was back and immersed in Philadelphia’s atmosphere and culture, that I’d want to align my volunteer efforts with the things I love.
Lucky for me, a family friend connected me with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (GPCA). The GPCA serves as the organizing body for over 400 of Philadelphia’s cultural organizations and provides them with key grants, research, marketing, professional development, and advocacy services. Around the same time I was connected with the GPCA, the organization was launching a young professionals’ group, the Emerging Leaders Circle (ELC). I was delighted to be nominated for and accepted to the ELC. The group plans monthly professional development, networking, and educational events to connect young professionals in Philadelphia’s corporate and non-profit sectors. For the past year, I have served on the steering committee of the ELC and taken a more active role in planning ELC events. This leadership role has given me the opportunity to continue to grow many of the skills I develop at Vanguard—like project management, strategic thinking and planning, and public speaking.
As I assumed more responsibility within the ELC, I once again found myself facing the new-experience-jitters when I was tasked with organizing and moderating a panel presentation. I had no clue where to start, but I found confidence in knowing I had my Vanguard support system to guide me along the way. My colleagues helped me brainstorm panel topics, connected me with potential panelists, shared speaking tips, and even drove me to the event in the pouring rain! The event was a huge success, and in an audience of over 100 people, I was so happy to see several friendly faces from Vanguard.
My efforts with the ELC were formally recognized when I was selected by the GPCA as the 2018 Emerging Cultural Champion. I was thrilled to receive this award. I was even prouder when audience members came up to me to congratulate me AND gush about their love for Vanguard!