Volunteer Spotlight – Shannon E.

Foster Arizona Volunteer Spotlight

Each month, Foster Arizona will feature our volunteers, who continuously make a positive impact on the lives of kids and young adults affected by foster care in our community.

This month, we are featuring Shannon E.

How long have you been involved with FA/FAHP?  
Just over a year. I joined the team in January of 2020.

Why did you become a volunteer/team lead with Foster Arizona and Foster Arizona Housing Project? 
I started out as a mentor at the suggestion of a friend, and then I was encouraged to transition to the lead team to help in a different capacity after spending time with Kim (CEO) volunteering in the office.

What is your favorite memory volunteering? 
I just love when we’re able to see the young adults start to see in themselves, what we have been telling them is inside of them all along.  That moment when they are crushing it at work, and/or at school and are starting to accomplish the goals we’ve helped them set for themselves. When they buy their first car, have established their credit, and then realize they’re ready to live independently and secure their first apartment.

How has volunteering impacted you? 
I think it has helped me be a more kind, loving, patient, and compassionate person.  It can be hard at first to build that relationship with a new young adult.  But you don’t give up. You show them that you’re here for them and that you only want what’s best for them.  And eventually, they see it. They allow you to begin speaking into their lives. They start to trust your input and feedback and you get more excited for them with every step forward they take. They eventually trust you enough to share their stories, struggles, fears, and dreams with you and it gives you a whole new appreciation for what they’ve had to overcome and maybe even how blessed you truly are.

If you could encourage someone else to volunteer, what would you say? 
You will go into it thinking that you’re going to make a difference and impact the lives of those young adults, and you will.  But they will impact your life just as much, if not more. It is an amazing way to give back and you may build connections that might end up being lifelong relationships. I’ve volunteered in many different ways, but this has by far been my favorite way to serve and give back. I have developed a love for our young adults that I didn’t see coming, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

For more information on becoming a volunteer, please contact us at info@fosteraz.org.

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