The National Conference on Volunteering and Service, held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 16-18, was an amazing experience that can be summed up in three words: Inspiration. Celebration. Leadership.
I was inspired by the people I met, the presentations I saw, and the work that is being done with passion and energy in communities all around the country—and the world.
It was inspiring to hear new ideas and new stories, it was also rewarding to be able to say that I worked for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and to have people from around the nation recognize that name and acknowledge our reputation. I was inspired to stand beside so many current and former AmeriCorps members, and to see that national service is woven into the national dialogue of volunteering, service and engagement. It inspired me to come home and keep fighting the good fight.
Secondly, NCVS was, as much as anything, a celebration of service and the people who dedicate their time, talent, and their treasure—really, their lives—to improving communities and making a difference in the experiences of others.
I was honored to watch Julia Zaher from HandsOn Genesee be among the finalists for a cash prize from JP Morgan Chase, and to be able to hear first-hand of the successes that are occurring every day in Flint and other areas. NCVS thanked volunteers and service-providers, AmeriCorps members and youth, teachers and corporations—representatives from all corners of the service spectrum—for the good that they spread in our world.
One of my roles with the VISTA Program, and for MNA as a sector leader, is to similarly recognize outstanding individuals and teams who deserve to be thanked for their contributions, and NCVS did this on a grand scale.
Finally, NCVS embodied leadership at all levels. NCVS was about stepping up to do what you can – including those who stood up on stage to speak to the assembled group, those who were in the audience, and those employees of Atlanta facilities who made the experience positive for all of us.
The American Express Leadership Academy, which occurred after NCVS from June 18-20 in conjunction with Points of Light and the Center for Creative Leadership, was an opportunity for me to learn more about my own leadership style. I gained insights that I can bring back to my work at MNA and tap in future positions as I seek to find my niche in the leadership of the nonprofit sector.
NCVS was a totally positive experience for me, one that I will never forget. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have participated.
Filed under: National Service, service-learning, Volunteerism | Tagged: American Express Leadership Academy, AmeriCorps, Center for Creative Leadership, civic engagement, National Conference on Volunteering and Service, NCVS, Points of Light, service, service-learning, VISTA, Volunteerism | Leave a comment »