During my year as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, one of my favorite things about my site supervisor was his hands off management style. If I had a problem, he was available to help, but if I didn’t need his input, he trusted me to do my job. It allowed for a lot of creativity in what could have been a really boring service year. I’m proud to see that same kind of creativity in the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators that I work closest with. I get excited when I talk to them and they tell me about the problems they’ve had, and how they’ve solved them. Especially if it’s in a way that I never would have thought of.
I try to be as hands-off as I can be with the members that I work with so that they’re able to solve problems on their own and craft a volunteer program that works best for them and their organizations. I could be in contact with the members in my region a lot more than I am, and try to solve all of their problems for them, but then I’d be doing their job for them and showing them that I don’t trust them to do a good job.
I’m really proud of all of the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators. I remember on the first day of pre-service training when they all were wondering what they had signed up for. I’ve gotten to watch them grow over the past ten months, and I’m really excited to see where they’ll be taking their programs over the next two months. Some of them are coasting through to the end of the year with a robust program and strong sustainability plan. Some of them will be driving to the finish, continuing to improve their programs as the needs of the people they’re serving change because school has let out for the summer. Some of them are still struggling with things beyond their control and are still facing the same uphill battle that they’ve dealt with since the beginning fo the year.
Whether it’s how to get more young adults interested in supporting their community, pairing mentors with young men, advocating for the victims of violent crime, or helping the homeless in their community, I get to see how the people I work with make the programs that they work on their own.
I’ve got a pretty awesome job, because the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators that I work with do an awesome job.