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Long term volunteer transitions to board member of Seed of Hope Foundation
"It is a little weird," Lori said. "Because I don't like to talk about myself. I am more of a private, quiet person." I became worried. I had hoped I didn't offend her. Lori resides in Oak Park and has recently retired from a long-standing career at AT&T.
"When I was an attendance manager, I heard a lot of stories from women as to why they couldn't come to work, such as abuse, divorce, illness or custody battles. I thought about how Seed of Hope Foundation could have helped some of these women." She goes on to explain that Seed of Hope Foundation may be needed more for the adults because they must be the role models for the teenage girls. "If the older women don't have the skills to teach the younger girls they are at a disadvantage."
Lori is very excited for her future with Seed of Hope Foundation. The board offer came after an organizational meeting in January that Lori attended as a volunteer. Little did she know, she would soon be more than that.
Jacqueline Barnes, founder of Seed of Hope Foundation, knew that Lori was perfect for the position from the beginning. "From the moment I approached Lori to assist with staging events for Seed of Hope, she has been all in. Her ability to catch the mission of each event and create a visual display is phenomenal, adding to the excellence and excitement of each event. Lori also plays a key role in troubleshooting behind the scenes of every major event" she said.
Gwendolyn Young, executive director of Seed of Hope Foundation, has high hopes for Lori as she enters her new board member position. She said, "Our hopes for Lori as she grows in the board member position is that she will gain some incredible new relationships, networking opportunities, and a platform to showcase her brilliance to the rest of the world, while continuing to help us advance the vision of Seed of Hope to create emotionally intelligent, integral leaders for the next generation."
As Lori observed the girls at the events and read their responses to what affects the girls in their daily lives she was surprised at what she saw and the answers the girls gave. She can't help but think of how Seed of Hope Foundation could have helped these girls during these tough times in their lives.
"Some young lady thinks her mom is too promiscuous. Girls have come to events with their baby. I couldn't imagine thinking that about my mom or going through a pregnancy alone at such a young age. Hearing about what dating is like for teenage girls today; these kinds of things impact me. I watched a young group of girls measure themselves for a bra. It was so funny to watch because these young girls are barely developed, but they may never learn how to do this. It makes me happy knowing that we took the time to teach them."
Lori plans to have a long future with Seed of Hope Foundation. She is excited for the new things to come and hopes others will find the organization just as amazing as she does. When asked what she would say to potential volunteers she said, "I would have to say that you would feel more than welcomed no matter who you are or where you are in life. There is a place for you at Seed of Hope Foundation and you will find an area that you excel in and use that passion to help girls."
Gwendolyn L. Young