We’re gearing up to celebrate National Volunteer Week next week, and with it comes one of our most inspiring events of the year: our Greater Philadelphia Corporate Volunteer Council (GPCVC)’s StorySlam, where volunteers step up to the mic to share real stories of how giving back has not only impacted others, but their own lives, as well.
Take Justine, who shared her story at last year’s StorySlam. After returning from her honeymoon, the unthinkable happened: she learned that her father had been struck by a car and wouldn’t survive. She rushed to San Francisco to be with her family, unsure of how she would be able to return to her life on the East Coast.
Reeling from the loss of her father, it was her dedication to volunteering with United Way’s mentoring program, Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow, that ultimately inspired Justine to heal and move forward.
“What really got me in the swing of things was my commitment to the GTLT program,” she shares. The girls immediately embraced and inspired Justine in ways she’ll never forget. She met Victoria, who invited Justine to sit with her during lunchtime and raved about a local college’s two-year nursing program. Then, there was Listorm, who carries a sketchbook, loves anime, and dreams of becoming a graphic designer; Tatiana, a young, single mother determined to be a doctor; and Samira, who aspires to get into Howard University.
By the end of her first day, Justine knew she found her purpose. Today, she continues to volunteer monthly, taking pride in watching her mentees grow and thrive.
“I could not wipe the smile off my face,” Justine says of her first day with the girls. “And it had been a while since I last smiled like that. These girls are our future; it’s very inspiring. I know the intent is for me to help and mentor them, but I wonder if they can imagine how much they really helped me at this time in my life.”
Inspired by Justine’s story? Hear more real people tell real stories of real Impact: Join us April 16 for StorySlam 2018!