Thursday, December 24, 2009

$10 discount to NAAAP-Seattle Members if register online by Jan 15th!

Now accepting applications for EDI's 2010
Leadership Programs

Register for EDI's 2010 Leadership Together
Conference - Sat. Jan 30th. Visit EDI's website at

$10 discount exclusive to NAAAP-Seattle members if register prior to Jan 15th. Please ask for a discount code from our Membership Chair, Herbert Pang at or any NAAAP-Seattle Board Members.


We Make Leaders!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winner of the 2010 NAAAP-Seattle Leadership Award Benefit to the EDI Selected

Winner of the 2010 NAAAP-Seattle Leadership Award Benefit to the EDI Selected

Julie Pham was selected as the recipient of the 2010 NAAAP-Seattle Leadership Award Benefit to the Executive Development Institute (EDI).  Julie is the managing editor of Northwest Vietnamese News (Nguoi Viet Tay Bac), a Seattle-based, semi-weekly, Vietnamese-language newspaper.  She also serves her community as chair of the MLK Business Association, board member of Seattle Symphony's Celebrate Asia! project, and advisory board member for the Vietnamese Friendship Association's Community Action Research & Empowerment Group (CARE) project. 

As the EDI benefit recipient, Julie will represent NAAAP-Seattle in the EDI 2010 Asian Pacific Leadership Discovery Program.  She will also be running for a NAAAP-Seattle board position during the upcoming 2010 NAAAP-Seattle elections. 

NAAAP-Seattle congratulates Julie on her selection, and also thanks our partners, EDI and Prudential, for their collaboration and support of this benefit!

Julie Pham will also serve as a NAAAP-Seattle PR/Marketing Chair 2010-2011. Congratulations!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Help Us In Making NAAAP-Seattle Great!

Hello NAAAP-Seattle members.  We need your help in making NAAAP-Seattle GREAT!  Each year we put in our best effort and greatest intention to provide the best and most beneficial events for you, but if we are not providing what you want then all our effort and intentions are lost.  So we are asking for your help in providing us with your feedback on how we are doing, what are working, and what we need to do better.  Please help us by completing this survey.  We very much appreciate your time, thank you!

Please click here:
NAAAP-Seattle Survey 

Thank You,


Ten Steps to a Successful Career by Elizabeth Xu

Hi Folks,

A great educational opportunity from NAAAP National that we would like to share. Come learn the 10 steps to a successful career by Elizabeth Xu

Register Here:

10 Steps to a Successful Career by Elizabeth Xu
The NAAAP National Webinar Series
November 17, 2009, at 9:00 PM -10:00 PM Eastern Time

Detailed instructions on registering for GoToWebinar will be provided
to all active members. Contact your local chapter or to register.

Dr. Elizabeth Xu is the Senior Vice President of Product Development and World Wide Support for Vitria Technology. She currently is responsible for Vitria's Product Development, Product Management, World Wide Customer Support, Education and IT Operations. Prior to Vitria, Elizabeth had managerial positions at IBM, in which she acquired deep knowledge in software development. She launched the IBM Asian American Network with three IBM Asian Executive sponsors. IBM provided her with solid management skills and leadership training. In the last few years, Elizabeth has expanded her efforts in elevating leadership skills in the Asian community by teaching in-depth leadership classes as well as making presentations to different Asian community organizations and alumni groups. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has earned an M.S. in Atmospheric Science and B.S. in Space Physics from Peking University.

Her well-received presentation "Ten Steps to a Successful Career"
provides building blocks for individuals who pursue meaningful
careers. On November 17, Dr. Xu give the Ten Steps presentation and
will help you assess personal values, define life and work goals, and
understand pitfalls for Asians in the workplace.

We hope you take this opportunity to enhance your professional and personal area.

Tanantha P.
PR/ Marketing
We Make Leaders!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hult International Business School, Monterey Institute of International Studies, IE Business School, and Kaplan Test Prep are pleased to invite you to the GMAT and International MBA Info Session on October 19th, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 PM in Seattle.

MBA admissions officers and test prep experts will discuss:

  • The most important business school admissions factors
  • The benefits of an internationally focused MBA
  • Strategies for creating a successful business school application
  • Tips for success on the GMAT exam

Please RSVP by sending an email to

Date and Time: Monday, October 19, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 PM

Venue: Seattle Kaplan Center, 4216 University Way NE, Seattle WA 98105, phone 206-632-0634

Participants: Kaplan Test Prep, Monterey Institue of International Studies, IE Business School, nd HULT International Business School

Posted by Tanantha P.



Monday, October 5, 2009

Community Opportunity with IDHA!

Opportunity to Serve on the Board of Directors with Local Non-Profit Organization!

Passionate, committed Board members needed for the International District Housing Alliance (IDHA), a 501c3 whose goal is to empower low-income individuals and families by providing a range of housing services, financial education, and leadership development. IDHA�s mission is to improve the quality of life for International District residents and Asians and Pacific islanders of Greater Seattle by providing community-building and low-income housing related services. Our program service areas include:

  • housing search and stabilization assistance and referral,
  • citizenship and ESL education,
  • community building, and youth leadership development,
  • homeownership education and counseling,
  • financial literacy workshops.

IDHA has a 31-year history of serving Asian Pacific Americans, primarily, limited English proficient immigrants and refugees in both the Chinatown International District and greater Seattle area. Be part of an organization that provides unique services to Seattle residents, many of whom are Asian Pacific Americans who are recent immigrants to the United States. IDHA provides a range of services from homelessness prevention to empowering youth leaders in the community.

We are seeking Board members who can support the mission of the organization, fund development, and commit to at least one year of service. Particular skills could include:

� Comfort with soliciting funds
� Ability to provide a link to community and government organizations and businesses
� Creativity with creating and managing fundraising initiatives
� Persistence with achieving fundraising goals
� A passion for providing meaningful assistance to individuals and families in need

Board members will be asked to complete an application and attend a board meeting to be introduced to existing board members. Regular board meetings occur once monthly, with opportunities for committee work between monthly meetings.

Thanks for your interest!
To obtain an application, contact Sharyne Shiu Thornton, IDHA Executive Director, at (206) 623-5132 x321 or

Courtesy information of IDHA
posted by Tanantha P.

Gala Flyer

Posted by Tanantha P.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

EDI Asian Pacific Leadership Discovery Program

The Executive Development Institute (EDI) Asian Pacific Leadership Discovery Program is an eight month, culturally-tailored leadership program geared towards Asian Pacific Americans.

NAAAP-Seattle is selecting one NAAAP-Seattle member for this career-enhancing program.

* Receive one free full program tuition (valued at $3,500)
* Obtain cutting-edge leadership training
* Learn from current executives on how to become a future executive
* Examine how to engage with your community

Additionally, the benefit recipient will put this leadership training into action by serving on the NAAAP-Seattle board or one of its committees.

Applications can be found on the NAAAP-Seattle website at:

Deadline is Friday, November 6, 2009.

For inquiries contact Lisa Nguyen, NAAAP-Seattle Scholarship Committee Chair, at

For more information on EDI, including the program curriculum, see:

NAAAP-Seattle is proud of our strategic partnership with Prudential.

Friday, September 18, 2009


The Seattle Chapter of National Association of Asian American Professionals to host the 30th Annual Leadership and Scholarship Award Gala at the Golf Club at Newcastle. For more information, please see the press release below and the attachment.

News Release

NAAAP-SeattlePO Box 19888Seattle, WA 98109



The Seattle Chapter of National Association of Asian American Professionals to host the 30th Annual Leadership and Scholarship Award Gala
Get ready to tee-off NAAAP-Seattle�s 30th Annual Leadership and Scholarship Award Gala at the splendid Golf Club at Newcastle on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The venue is named one of the �Top (Golf) Clubs in Service� in North America. This year�s theme, Going Pro, reinforces NAAAP�s commitment to propel Asian-Americans� potential.
This signature event�s goal is to recognize community leaders� achievements for the Asian American community, and presenting scholarships to outstanding Asian American high school seniors. The evening expects more than 300 people in attendance and will be more adventurous than previous years. It will include a putting tournament that starts at 2:30pm and have live frenzy instead of silent and live auctions. Lily Jang from Q13 will be emceeing the event and Scott Oki will be our honorary guest speaker. Member price is $65 and non-member price is $75. Tickets are available through Join us as we make our drive towards �Going Pro�.

About the Seattle Chapter of National Association of Asian American Professionals
The NAAAP-Seattle Chapter, headquartered in Seattle, WA, represents Asian-American professionals from various ethnic heritages and industries within the Puget Sound. Founded in 1979 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, NAAAP-Seattle is an individual membership organization dedicated to creating a stronger Asian-American community within the Puget Sound through:
(a) Support of activities, enterprises and organizations committed to the betterment of the Asian community;
(b) Fostering increased communication, interaction, and exchange of ideas among members through formal and informal gatherings;
(c) Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge from other members and recognized professional through seminars and presentations;
(d) Promoting the cultural heritage of Asian Americans;
(e) Educating the Asian community on issues which affect their interests and participating in activities that lead to the equal opportunity and fair treatment of all Asian Americans.
To meet its members� needs, NAAAP-Seattle has implemented a comprehensive strategic plan with the following three goals: (1) to ignite passion towards the development Asian American leaders, professionals, and the professionals of tomorrow; (2) to contribute to the improvement of the local Asian-American community; (3) and to deliver substantial value in every component of its operation to NAAAP-Seattle members. Additional information on the organization can be found at

Best Regards,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Job Opening in the Community

The open position in the Seattle office for the US Census Bureau

Amended closing date on 9/9/2009.


Bureau of the CensusRecruiting Bulletin

ISSUE DATE: August 26, 2009 Recruiting Bulletin No. AF-09-2010-PS-27EWACLOSING DATE: September 14, 2009 Seattle Regional Census CenterBothell, WA


STARTING SALARY (STEP 01):Applicants with prior Federal Civil Service may qualify for a higher starting salary. Applicants must specify the gradethey are applying to on the application; if applying to multiple grades, an application must be submitted for each gradelevel.Grade 07 $40,527 Grade 11 $59,978Grade 09 $49,573 Grade 12 $71,889

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: GG-12NUMBER OF POSITIONS: FewEXCEPTED SERVICE APPOINTMENT: This is a one year Schedule A time-limited appointment with apossible extension not-to-exceed 9/30/2010.AREA OF CONSIDERATION: External- All qualified U.S. Citizens currently residing in one of thefollowing Washington counties: King, Kitsap, Pierce, or Snohomish.

SELECTIVE FACTORS: (1) Ability to develop relationships and productive partnershipagreements with leaders in the Korean community.(2) Ability to Speak, Read and Write fluently in the Koreanlanguage.

DUTIES: The incumbent of this position serves as a Partnership Specialist. The Partnership Specialist is responsible fordeveloping partnerships with state, local, and tribal governments; community-based organizations, faith-based groups;schools; media outlets; businesses; and other grassroots entities in communities within the regional office area. ThePartnership Specialist also provides support to census field operations such as Recruitment, Be Counted, QuestionnaireAssistance Centers, Non-Response Follow-Up, and others. The Partnership Specialist will work under the supervision ofa Partnership Coordinator. The incumbent will conduct research, analyze the regional office area, and assist in thedevelopment of the regional plan for the PDS Program for the census. This plan will follow the goals and objectives,overall strategies, and major activities provided by headquarters staff as well as adhere to the budget allocations for theregional office for the planning and implementation of the program.

EVALUATION PROCESS:The review of applications is a four-step process. (1) All applicants are evaluated to determine if they meet the basiceligibility requirements (i.e., are a U.S. citizen, meet the �Area of Consideration�). (2) If an applicant meets the basiceligibility requirements, their RESUME only is reviewed to determine if it meets the Experience and/or Educationqualification requirements described below. (3) Applicants who meet the qualification requirements, those �basically�qualified, are then given a numerical score based on their answers to the Evaluation Criteria Questions. (4) All qualifiedapplicants are place on a selection record in score and Veterans� Preference order, and then referred to the SelectionOfficial for review.

2 QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants are responsible for insuring that the application submitted clearly indicates that they meet thequalifications listed below. To be eligible for this position, you must have the specialized experience OR education indicated belowOR a combination of both:GG-0301-07: Applicants must have the experience or education indicated below or a combination.You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 05 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience iswork experience explaining non-technical information or providing on-the-job training on regulations, policies, or procedures toothers or at briefings, meetings, conferences, or hearings OR work experience in providing instructions or coaching others in athletic,leisure, or community activities, helping customers, clients, or members of the public who were hostile or upset, handling customercomplaints or providing instructions to customers or the public either in writing or by telephone.

EDUCATION: Bachelor�s degree in any area with Superior Academic Achievement OR one full year of graduate education directlyrelated to the position that provided the applicant with the knowledge of speech communication; broadcast journalism; printjournalism; creative writing; public administration; advertising; composition; mass communication or mass media; public relationstechniques; or radio, television, and film production.GG-0301-09: Applicants must have the experience or education indicated below or a combination.You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 07 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience iswork experience applying communication principles, methods, techniques for the development of campaigns OR work experience inediting technical material for targeted audience OR work experience interacting and dealing with the public including media, state,and local government officials, community, businesses, and organization program officers.

EDUCATION: Two full years of graduate education or master�s degree directly related to the position that provided knowledge ofbroadcast journalism; print journalism; creative writing; public administration; advertising; composition; mass communication or massmedia; public relations techniques; or radio, television, and film production.GG-0301-11: Applicants must have the experience or education indicated below or a combination.You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 09 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience iswork experience applying analytical techniques and interpersonal relations in dealing effectively with targeted audience; andanalyzing the views and opinions from organizations and developing recommendations for stimulating interest in activities.

EDUCATION: Three full years of graduate education or the Ph.D., directly related to the position that provided the knowledge ofspeech communication; broadcast journalism; creative writing; public administration; advertising; mass communication or massmedia; public relations techniques; or radio, television, and film production.GG-0301-12: Applicants must have the experience indicated below.You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 11 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience iswork experience (1) conducting public affairs programs involving public information community relations activities and seekingcooperation; and presenting information to internal and external groups to inform them of program objectives and activities, gainingcooperation; and (2) ability to present information to the public including media, state, and local government officials, communitybusinesses, and organization program officers.

EDUCATION: No substitution of education for experience is permitted.

SELECTIVE FACTORS: This position requires the possession of specialized knowledge, skill, and/or abilities.Applicants MUST submit a separate, individual statement addressing the Selective Factors. Candidates will beevaluated on the extent and quality of their knowledge, skills and/or abilities in meeting this factor. Only applicants whoshow evidence of meeting the following factor will be considered for this position:1. Ability to develop relationships and productive partnership agreements with leaders in the Koreancommunity.2. Ability to Speak, Read and Write fluently in the Korean language.

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Candidates will be evaluated on the extent and quality of their experience, education, andaccomplishments as related to the following elements. To be considered, applicants must submit a separate,individual statement addressing each of the following (number your answers 1, 2, & 3). Please be sure to giveexamples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge you possessed, the level of thepeople you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc.

1. Experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating the goals and objectives of a nationwide and/or regional outreach andpromotional program.

2. Experience in developing and nurturing productive partnerships, for the purpose of gaining cooperation and support, withstate, local, and tribal governments; community-based organizations; faith-based groups; schools; media outlets; andbusinesses.

3. Experience writing and developing speeches, presentations, and workshops; delivering speeches, presentations, andworkshops; and organizing and conducting meetings and events, all for the purpose of gaining cooperation and support andinitiating action.

For further information on this vacancy you may contact, Lori Ann Brockmeyer, HRS at (425) 908-3053.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Write a Winning Business Plan

Left to Right: Ryen Shimizu, Jesse Robbins, Bryan Brewer, and Hang Chen

NAAAP-Seattle hosted the event at Bank of America Executive Education Center, UW, on July 30th. The presentation was carried by our key speaker, Bryan Brewer with Business Plans Northwest. He is an author, journalist, consultant, and business owner specializing in business plans.

We'd like to summarize key points here for folks who are interested in this topic.

Courtesy information by Bryan Brewer

The Seven Secrets:

  1. Do the Thinking First: Refine your business model before you start writing your plan. Business plan documents consist of as follows:
  • Executive Summary: Get attention, create interest. This is about 2 pages maximum
  • Business Plan: Provide details for due diligence. 20-25 pages
  • Financial Projections: Provide justification for financial investment. Span 3-5 years (one page summary in Business Plan)
  • Investor Presentation: Create desire, close the deal. 10-15 slides of PowerPoint.
2. What Investors Look For: Experienced, passionate team, growth and scalability, real need, cost-effective way to target the market, sustainable competitive advantages, realistic revenue model, and ROI.

3. Talk to Your Customers: Validate their needs and use feedback to develop product and market strategy
4. Embrace Your Competition: Positioning & differentiation, market disruption, communicating your message, and keep motivated.

5. Don't Try To Predict the Future: The Purpose of financial projections is to demonstrate that you understand the key metrics that drive your business engine, and understand the basic elements of the equation, such as, revenue, variable costs, and fixed costs.

6. Don't Got It Alone: Look for entrepreneurial ecosystem and Board of Advisors, such as service providers, organizations, entrepreneurs, or investor.

7. The Plan is Not the Business: It's knowledge vs. Action or Idea vs. Execution.

Posted by Tanantha P. PR/Marketing, NAAAP-Seattle

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Press Release: NAAAP National Convention


Shirley Chin Cyndy Yu-Robinson
(617) 633-1735 (919) 625-1207


Asian American convention considered an investment in oneself.
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) July 15, 2009 -- Impacted but not disheartened by the economic hardships facing the U.S., the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is holding its National Convention on August 13-16, 2009 in the Mile-High City, Denver at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The theme is �Leadership at New Heights: Cultivating Leaders for Today and Beyond.�
Confirmed keynote speakers including Maya Lin, world-renowned architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Yul Kwon, winner of reality show Survivor: Cook Islands and a bone marrow donation advocate, and Judge Jerry Hada, an appointed judge to the Denver County Court. They lead an impressive list of accomplished Asian American leaders from business, education, arts, and other fields. Convention participants will enjoy 20 workshops, seminars and panels, the largest Asian American job fair in the U.S., exciting entertainment, the launch of Women in NAAAP program, and networking with professionals from across the U.S. and Canada. The convention is open to NAAAP members and the general public. More than 350 people are expected to attend.
The Diversity Career Fair will feature 100 employers and service providers including sponsors Dell Computer, American Family Insurance, Aramark, and Raytheon Corporation. Convention participants and local walk-throughs will be able to meet hiring managers, professional candidates, purchasing agents, small business vendors, and supplier diversity executives. There is no substitute for face-to-face contact.[for national news release only] �This year�s annual convention and career faire represent a timely investment in ourselves and our careers. Continuing education and networking are keys to success for all professionals looking to leadership positions,� says Brad Baldia, NAAAP�s

Note: Courtesy content from NAAAP Convention Press Release

Posted by Tanantha P., PR/Marketing Chair of NAAAP-Seattle

Monday, June 1, 2009

NAAAP-Seattle 2009 High School Scholarship Application Now Available!

NAAAP-Seattle 2009 High School Scholarship Application Now Available!

Each year, NAAAP-Seattle awards scholarships to outstanding Asian Pacific American high school seniors at our annual Gala. For 2009, we are awarding a $3000 scholarship (First Place Winner) and a $2000 scholarship (Second Place Winner).

Asian Pacific Americans (APA) who will be high school seniors during the 2009/2010 academic year and graduating high school in Spring/Summer 2010
Must be entering first year of college in Fall of 2010
Must have a GPA of 3.00 or higher (submission of most recent official high school transcript is required)

Application grading criteria:
Academic achievement
Leadership skills
Community activities and involvement
Scholastic activities and involvement
Work or other activities

a. Ability to clearly articulate ideas and answer essay question
b. Logical presentation of argument(s)
c. Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure

Application: Available for downloading at

NAAAP-Seattle Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions:Can be found at

deadline:: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Submit applications:
E-mail applications to (preferred):
Subject line: NAAAP-Seattle Scholarship

Mail applications to:
NAAAP-Seattle Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 19888
Seattle, WA 98109

Questions: Please contact
Lisa Nguyen, PharmD, BCPS
2009 NAAAP-Seattle Scholarship Committee Chair

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Entrepreneur Workshop NAAAP-Seattle at UW

The Entrepreneur Workshop
at UW on April 22nd

It went really well. We have about 35 people attended including panelists. Being an entrepreneur has pros and cons that you should weigh them yourself whether or not it's suitable to your life style. It will be for sure difficult and stressful at the beginning. Ask yourself a question, such as, do you like freedom?, do you want to work for yourself or a company?, can you handle stress?, are you okay to not have regular paycheck every month, no bonus? What about in a long run? You work more, you get more.

The next step would be to find what you really enjoy doing and you have passion on. Then write out possibilities if you can turn it to $$$. This seems to be easy, but it's not really. A lot of people have hobby, but how to turn it around to $$$. That's something you need to think about. If you find one, lucky you! If not, keep looking. Opportunities are all around you. Be creative and think outside the box.

Then it comes to strategy and business plan. You NEED a plan! Passion only is not enough. It's tough market out there especially in a down turn economy. Write it out because you can see it more clearly than in your mind. Some entrepreneurs take business class. The question is "is that really help?" It might, but it helps for sure to help you be more structure and think it through. Get yourself out there. Mingle with successful people and ask for help. Our panelists recommend to get a mentor. Professional athletes have a coach, why not you?

A lot of attendees asked about finance. You can either go to organizations that help small businesses, go to an angel and sell your idea, convince them to invest in your idea, or go to your saving. It all depends on circumstances. You can consult this with professionals and mentors.

Have you heard about gut? Everybody has gut. However, it's not always right!! Gut will grow with experience. Take gut and structure together into consideration before making decision. It might be a high risk, but it will also be high return.

Having an entrepreneur-minded is a good start. Not many people have this mindset. If you have it, you're lucky. Good luck and pursue your dream!

NAAAP-Seattle: We make leader!
Courtesy photos of Sopon Supamungmee

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speed Networking Tips

As we had a Speed Networking at Crimson C on April 3,09, it turned out great! We had recruited a few new members and there were about 33 attendees. They enjoyed the event and gave us good feedback!

We summarize and combine the art of networking tips from our speakers that night: Elaine Kitamura, Director of Public Affairs from Clear Channel, and Mark Okazaki, Executive Director of Neighborhood House. Hope this will help you make a good impression in a short time!

Courtesy information of Eliane Kiramura and Mark Okazaki

  • Everyone matters because everyone can help

  • People's minds can be changed in seconds: If you can impact a piece of information about your organization that changes someone's mind, then you have accomplished something , or they walk away and thinking "I didn't know that".
  • Always carry a lot of business cards

  • Arrive early and stay late because there are hidden opportunities everywhere

  • You have to show up: The world is full of opportunities and you never know, now can you ever predict, when a unique opportunity or something comes your way. Show up and you might learn somehting new.

  • Have a gold/objective when you attend the events

  • Write notes about things you talked or learned about the people you met

  • Have a firm handshake, smile and look at them in the eyes

  • Do thank you follow up immediately

  • Listen when you are talking to people

  • Dress appropriately

  • Do more of this and it will comes easy for you

  • Ask for help from your networking: Don't hesitate to ask for assistance or get an introduction done. If you are looking for a job, get the word out! you will be surprised when the opporutnity comes.

from left to right: Mark Okazaki Executive Director of Neighborhood House, Elaine Kitamura, Director of Public Affairs from Clear Channel, and Hang Chan Professional Development Chair of NAAAP-Seattle

Friday, April 10, 2009

Volunteering Can Transform Your Life

I Just wanted to share the interesting story of how volunteering can impact your life and I found this on which I think it can be a good encouragement for people to rethink about volunteering.

Source: Have Fun: Do Good Eblog by Britt Bravo, Oakland, California, United States
Wedsnesday, April 08, 2009
Volunteering Can Transform Your Life
About 12 years ago my life hit a rough patch. I was in a job that wasn't using my skills, and wasn't going anywhere. My boyfriend had broken up with me. Turning 30 wasn't far away. I wasn't feeling so hot.I started volunteering at a San Francisco based arts education organization, Streetside Stories. The program teaches autobiographical writing in Bay Area public schools using storytelling (oral, written, digital).One or two mornings per week I would ride the bus to a public middle school and help students write a story about their life. It was the highlight of my week. Not only did hearing their stories help me put mine in a different perspective, it was fun!After volunteering for about 6 months, Streetside asked me if I could do some subbing for their instructors; after about a year they offered me a job. I ended up working there for six years. Many of the friendships I made with staff members then I still have today. I met my husband during that time as well.I think my experience at Streetside is why I'm such a big proponent of volunteering. I believe that it can bring magical changes into your life. The changes might not be as dramatic as mine, but volunteering will transform you in some way.Next week, April 19-25, is National Volunteer Week. What better time to start looking for a volunteer opportunity? Sites like VolunteerMatch, Volunteer Solutions,, Social Actions, Transitions Abroad, One Brick, Network for Good, Idealist, HandsOn Network, GuideStar, Global Vounteers and 1-800 are great places to look for opportunities.You might think you don't have time to volunteer, but volunteering can take many forms: in person, virtual, long-term, one-time, during a vacation, etc. You can also volunteer in your own community, rather than with an organization, by doing things like taking care of a friend's child once a week, or running errands for an elderly neighbor.