Q1: Which organization(s) are you a part of?
- Board Member and Past President, Sexual Assault Center of NWGA
- 2017 SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee
- 2013 and 2017 Rome-Floyd Citizens for Progress (SPLOST YES)
- Chairperson, Citizens for Roberson (Dave Roberson for Floyd County Sheriff)
- Focused on Floyd 101 Citizens Academy Participant, Floyd County Government
- Leadership Rome Participant and Volunteer, Rome-Floyd Chamber of Commerce
- Court Participant and Prom Queen, A Night to Remember: An Adult Prom for Alzheimer’s Association
- Harbor House Adult Spelling Bee Participant
- Committee Member, Run for the Rescues Animal Welfare Fundraiser
- Committee Member, Hospitality House Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
- Committee Member, Tour de Georgia
- Past Board Member, Greater Rome Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
- Past Board Member, Rome International Film Festival
- Alumni Volunteer, Berry College COM 450 Mock Interviews
- Event Volunteer, Rome Area Council for the Arts
- Event Volunteer, William S. Davies Shelters
- Mentor, Rome-Floyd Communities in Schools
- Junior EYC Advisor, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
- 2018 James Douglas Brown Jr. Faculty Award Winner, Darlington School
Q2: What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day almost always begins with coffee, unless I’m running late (which has been known to happen). Then it’s off to Darlington School, where I’m the director of communications.
Essentially, my team is responsible for sharing the Darlington story with various audiences using a variety of different platforms. No two days are really alike. We may be building a new website (which we just did last year!), directing video shoots, creating content for Darlington Magazine, auditing social media channels, supporting teachers who want to incorporate storytelling or blogging into their classrooms; the list goes on.
I’ve worked at Darlington for 15 years, and I feel very fortunate to be part of such a special place. One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to write every day. This may sound like punishment to some, but for a girl who has loved to write ever since she can remember, it’s a dream come true. These days, it’s not always easy to find a job doing something you truly enjoy – and as a bonus, I get to work with teachers and students who inspire me on a daily basis.
Q3: What is the most fulfilling part of your work?
I’m not sure if you mean my full-time work or my volunteer work, so I’ll share both.
The most fulfilling part of my work at Darlington is seeing students taking full advantage of all Darlington has to offer and knowing the experience they have in our care will allow them to graduate with the confidence, connections and compassion they need to succeed in college, in their career, and be meaningful contributors to their world.
I love days when my team and I get to spend time with our advisees. We’re advisers to a group of eight juniors, and they are some of the absolute best and funniest students I know. They keep us connected to the student experience and remind us why we do what we do. After all, our job is to share the Darlington story, and you can’t do that well without understanding the students’ point of view.
The most fulfilling part of my volunteer work is simply knowing that I’m doing something – even if it’s something small – that will make our community or someone’s life a little bit better. I purposely focus on local causes because I believe that change truly starts at home. If you are doing something where you are, in your community, you will see and feel the impact.
I would also say that volunteer work has taught me so much. It has given me opportunities to grow as a person, as a leader, as a citizen of Floyd County. I have overcome challenges I might not have faced in my full-time job, and I have met some of the most wonderful, talented, gracious people who have become dear friends. These experiences have certainly had a meaningful impact on me personally.
Q4: What is your favorite memory or story from your volunteer career?
It’s really hard to pick just one, so I’m going to pick three.
The first thing I think of is the Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge, a “Dancing With the Stars”-type fundraiser that supports the Sexual Assault Center of NWGA. I have served on the SAC board since 2011 and it is definitely the cause that is most near and dear to my heart. My first year was also the first year of the Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge, and we raised $44,000 – we were absolutely thrilled! Thanks to the outpouring of support of our community and the incredible people who dance in our show each year, we are now consistently raising more than $150,000 annually. It’s been an amazing success story for our Center and our community, but most importantly it has allowed us to grow and provide even better services to the people of Northwest Georgia.
I’m more of a behind-the-scenes type of volunteer but last year, I stepped outside my comfort zone to participate in A Night to Remember: an adult prom, which raises money for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and other dementia-related needs in our community. There are eight people on the “prom court” competing to raise money for the cause, and the man and woman who raise the most are crowned Prom King and Queen the night of the event. I participated in honor of the mother of one of my dear friends and coworkers, Paige. She had been battling Alzheimer’s for several years and through their experience I saw a great need for more resources in our community. Very sadly, Paige’s mom passed away before the event, but I was able to raise more than $18,000 in her memory. I’m so grateful to my family, friends and all of the businesses who supported my “Prom Queen” campaign because, in reality, you supported my friend and her family.
Last but not least, in 2017 I was honored to be selected to serve on the SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee, which helps vet SPLOST projects proposed by government entities and local citizens and put together a package on which the citizens get to vote. First, I want to say that I applaud the way our community approaches the SPLOST, getting citizens involved right from the start. I was fortunate to work with an incredible and diverse group of people who, I believe, truly had the best interest of our community at heart from day one. It certainly was not an easy task, and many times we did not agree, but in the end we proposed a list of projects that would be put before the citizens for a vote in November. I stayed involved in the process and served on Citizens for Progress, the SPLOST YES citizens committee tasked with communicating the value of SPLOST and these particular projects. On Election Night, we gathered at the home of our committee co-chair to watch the returns come in. We felt good about our efforts, but we certainly did not expect the community to pass the SPLOST by such a large margin. Sixty-one percent of voters voted YES. It was an incredible night and I get excited all over again when I think about what SPLOSTs have done and will continue to do for our community. To me, it is a fair and transparent mechanism for enhancing our community and encouraging progress, and I’m just so grateful that I had the opportunity to be involved in this success story for Floyd County.
Q5: What would you say to people who say they don’t have time to volunteer?
I certainly understand that life gets busy, but I truly believe we all have something we can contribute. One of the things I love most about our community is that there are so many opportunities to get involved. To discover things that interest us. To support causes we care about. You can give as much or as little time as you have. Whether you serve on a board for a decade or volunteer at the same event once a year, I promise you are making a difference and someone will be grateful.