Volunteer Spotlight: Gen-Rising’s Synthia Melton

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Gen-Rising is the YWCA’s signature  professional development network for women under 40, and it is also home to some of our most accomplished and dedicated volunteers!  Gen-Rising Committee member and new YWCA Board member Synthia Melton is a perfect example of the personal and professional growth volunteerism can lead to, especially at the YWCA.  Volunteer Services recently spoke with Synthia about how she found us, and jotted down her advice for other rising stars!

How did you first learn about the YWCA?  What inspired you to get involved?

I had heard about the YWCA a couple years ago but wasn’t too familiar with their mission and work. A close friend of mine invited me to a Connext event in July 2012. Her co-worker was on the Gen-Rising committee.  I attended and had such a wonderful time, met some amazing people, and at the event they asked if anyone was interested in the committee and I signed up right away. At the event, I learned more about the mission of the YWCA and the energy in the room was incredible. It was a very powerful experience for me to see so many young women engaged in their community. I had recently finished a term as a board member with another non-profit and was looking for another organization to volunteer my time with.  After Connext, I knew YWCA was it.

What are the different volunteer roles you have held since you joined us at the YWCA?  What have you learned or gained from your service?

I served on the YWCA Gen-Rising committee and helped plan the February 2013 Connext Event. I also volunteered at the closet treasure sale. I now am on the YWCA Board of Directors through their young leader program. I was nominated by some wonderful individuals who I served on the Gen-Rising committee with.

I’ve gained a wonderful professional and personal network through my volunteer roles. Not only has it given me the inspiration and strength to start my own business but I’ve found I can go to the individuals I’m met through the YWCA for support and mentorship. I’ve also made some wonderful friends!

What would your advice be to other young professional women who want to engage more deeply with their communities?

I would suggest find an organization or group that supports a cause you are passionate about. If you are passionate about it, you are more likely to want to volunteer what free time we young women have today and maybe even donate.  Check out an event and find out ways you can get plugged in. Giving back really adds not only to your professional resume, but it truly makes a positive impact on your life. In fact, start out with the YWCA Connext event on July 16th!

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

If anyone has any questions or wants to know more about the YWCA, I would be more than happy to chat with them!

You can join Synthia and other inspiring YWCA volunteers at CONNEXT, an evening of speed networking and mentoring for young women who want to grow their careers, meet new people and have fun.  Register here to reserve your spot at this fabulous and free event!