YWCA Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Hartford
For Stephanie Hartford, volunteering and community engagement is part of who she is. She started volunteering nearly four years ago with the BABES Network-YWCA, which provides support for women living with HIV/AIDS.
“Volunteering gives me a way to stay connected to the YWCA and the many worthy aspects of the organization,” said Hartford. That volunteer position turned into an internship with the YWCA Community Affairs team, where she worked on public policy, luncheon events, and client photo shoots for the organization.
When the internship ended, she began volunteering on the YWCA Gen-Rising committee, which engages and connects women under 40 with the YWCA.
“The organization always had a vision for reaching out to the younger generation, and the committee provides the energy and ideas to put that vision into action.” Gen-Rising hosts networking events with seasoned professional women — often YWCA board members — who share career tips and advice in a “speed mentoring” setting.
Hartford is one of 2,228 YWCA volunteers who give their time either in the form of one-time volunteer commitments or a regular weekly engagements. “The beautiful thing about volunteering at the YWCA is that they take the scary aspects of volunteering away and offer a variety of programs to match your interests.”