Paying It Forward as a Volunteer Mentor with the NAACP Nyack Youth Council
When Jackie Ball was growing up in the Bronx, her parents made sure that she had the right people in her life to guide her towards positive programs. Although she was the first in her family to attend college, her parents knew their daughter should be exposed to community leaders who would be able to mentor her in achieving an education and learning about life beyond the confines of her urban neighborhood.
She was fortunate to have mentors who took her on trips to New York City so that she could experience arts and education programs that were not available in the confines of her own neighborhood.
Today, the 25-year Verizon veteran and customer service supervisor in Global Wholesale, “pays it forward” as a volunteer mentor with the NAACP Nyack Youth Council. She takes personal accountability for each of her mentees as she prepares them for higher education by helping them to identify internships and apply for financial aid.
Her advocacy efforts are focused on education, health, economic empowerment, juvenile justice and voter empowerment, and she follows her mentees from middle school until they graduate from college.
“The kids always come back and say ‘thank you.” This is why I love to do it,” Jackie said.
Jackie also volunteers through Verizon with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and was a recipient of the 2011 National Jefferson Award, a prestigious recognition honoring community and public service in America. She said her passion in facilitating youth council meetings, securing keynote speakers and providing training workshops on education gives her great personal satisfaction.
There is life beyond what you see,” Jackie said. “I always tell the kids to think outside the box. I was fortunate enough to be part of Verizon’s mentorship circle in 2009, and my mentor, Jackie Latham, executive director-Labor Relations, played a key role and laid the ground work for my diversified roles in management and volunteerism within Verizon.”
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