Last fiscal year, more than 2,500 people volunteered at NVFS.
Volunteer Spotight: Ebony Wilson
The March Volunteer Spotlight shines on IPE Mentor, Ebony Wilson. Ebony began volunteering by answering a challenge from The Virginia Tech Alumni Association (National Capital Region) encouraging its members to volunteer for the IPE program. Ebony, who is from Norfolk, VA but has lived in the Northern Virginia area for eight years, had volunteered with her church at the SERVE campus and was vaguely familiar with the agency. After doing some research, Ebony decided to persue the IPE mentoring opportunity. The fact that she would be part of an organziation with so many programs and services helping the community is what sealed the deal and led her to mentoring.
Ebony's favorite part about mentoring is the opportunity to be directly involved in the community. She has been an IPE mentor for one year and often volunteers with her mentee at the NVFS Clock Tower thrift shop in Centreville. Despite working full time, Ebony still finds time to meet with her mentee at least one hour a week. They visit museums, go to Wizards games, to the mall, out to eat, or simply talk.
"I basically provide a listening ear, give some advice and offer words of encouragement." says Ebony. Ebony is very proud of her mentee especially her motivation to finish school despite her circumstances, her optimism about the future, and the loving relationship she has with her siblings.
When asked what makes a good mentor, Ebony said, "being able to listen without being critical, helping your mentee make positive decisions, and being willing to put in the time and effort it takes to establish and maintain a relationship with your mentee." Ebony is the perfect example of how, by carving just one hour out of your week, you can make a positive and lasting impact on a young person's life.
Outside of mentoring, Ebony works at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy (Navy Reservist) and squeezes in time for her passions: reading and watching sports.
We salute you Ebony, for being a shining example of what volunteerism is all about.