Featuring Stephanie Edwards
PIN is pleased to feature Stephanie Edwards in our series on the Young Professionals on Board (YPOB) program as we seek to appreciate participants, employers and local nonprofits and charities participating in this unique program.
Why Young Professionals on Board? Stephanie was given the opportunity to participate in the YPOB program by her leader at her place of employment (The Co-operators). “My company has supported and encouraged young professionals looking for further development to consider volunteer board participation to gain the leadership skills and experiences they may not have the chance to develop in their current role.”
Standout moments… This opportunity led to highlights in Stephanie’s first year on the board such as, the opportunity to volunteer at the Little’s Dinner with Santa and an annual holiday event for Bigs and Littles. Seeing firsthand the impact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington (BBBSCW) had on the youth in her community she found the experience “humbling and rewarding.” She continued to recount how the kids shared their gratefulness for things many take for granted, “I won’t forget their stories or the smiles on their faces”.
The experience… Stephanie had such a remarkable experience with her board, she remained with the organization in an official board capacity after the YPOB program ended. “I had an incredible experience volunteering with BBBS of Centre Wellington.” She adds that, “It has been very rewarding to give back to my community in such a meaningful way, particularly being able to lend my expertise in Human Resources. Boards are often looking for new members who can bring professional skills in HR, Finance/Accounting, Legal, Marketing, etc. to fill important roles and give advice to enrich their agency.” Stephanie has also found that volunteering was also a great way to network and make new connections in her community. Noting, “I’ve built many new relationships with some truly wonderful people.”
Biggest takeaways… Her biggest takeaway from the program is, “Don’t under-estimate your value or the difference you can make. We all have unique perspectives, experiences and skills, all of which are incredibly valuable to any board. Find an agency that has values that align with yours. The opportunities are endless, so find an agency that does something that’s important to you and jump in! You won’t regret it and you’ll find you will likely take away more from the experience than you give.”
Outside of work and volunteering… When Stephanie is not out changing the world, she loves cooking, walking her dogs and hanging out with her family. She has 8 young, nieces and nephews and tries to spend as much time with them as possible!
Entering into its 5th year, the Young Professionals on Board (YPOB) is aimed at connecting young professionals with established leaders in our community. Young professionals, up to the age of 35 years, will be matched with mentors who sit on a local Board of Directors. This project will provide the opportunity for young professionals to learn about board governance and, with the assistance of a mentor, participate in the governance of a local nonprofit agency. The goal of the program is to increase community leadership capacity to support succession-planning for quality board leadership in the nonprofit sector.
YPOB continues to add value to those that participate, and mentoring boards and our community is better for it. If you wish to participate (as a mentor/mentee) or nominate someone you know can add value to the nonprofit world, please visit this link or contact [email protected]
Learn more about the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters Centre Wellington and how you can support this local organization and The Co-operators who know the value of volunteerism, growth and development.