Annie Bennett, Friends of Cedar Lane

IMG_1670Anne, or Annie, Bennett grew up in a family that emphasized service to the community. She is proud of the fact that her mother is a social worker, and considers herself lucky to have been raised with a unique perspective on human need and life struggles. This perspective stayed with her as she attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She just graduated from this institution in May with her B.A. in psychology and minors in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and dance.

Upon graduating, Annie was eager to become a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator with Friends of Cedar Lane. She was motivated to serve because she wanted, “to be a part of something bigger than herself and aid an organization doing miraculous work.” Annie was specifically inspired to work with Friends of Cedar Lane, because she was able, “to witness from a sick relative how amazing, caring, and generous the elderly care workers were with their clients and their clients’ families.” She expanded upon her reasoning by explaining that, “Cedar Lane is serving a population that does not always get the attention they deserve from the surrounding community and I am so thrilled to be a part of building the volunteer program that will change that.”

Annie is excited about all of the learning she will be doing at her site, and this year, she hopes to gain leadership skills and insight on working closely with elderly populations. With the experience she gains with Volunteer Maryland and Friends of Cedar Lane, Annie also hopes to go back to school for a graduate degree in social work or counseling that will enable her to aid vulnerable populations on a grander scale.

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Lorna Scribner, Howard County Conservancy

Originally from Ohio, Lorna Scribner comes to Volunteer Maryland by way of Central America and the Bahamas. After graduating cum laude from Coastal Carolina University, Lorna’s work brought her to the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation Shark Lab. There, she worked as a volunteer and then as an Assistant Lab Manager, “leading research crews, managing data, selecting and supervising volunteers, honing specialized skills in elasmobranch research and being apart of a tight knit team that ran a world-renowned shark research facility.” Upon leaving the research station, Lorna embarked on her “first backpacking trip through Central America.” In 6 weeks she “traveled through 5 countries, making memories and seeing some of the most amazing sites in the world”.

Lorna returned to the United States determined to find a job that would grow her professional skills and also make a meaningful difference in the community. As the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator at the Howard County Conservancy, Lorna will continue to develop her leadership and management skills while contributing to the environmental and educational mission of her organization. Although this journey was unexpected, Lorna is excited for her year of service!

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Where Do You See Yourself in September?

 

As Outreach Manager with Volunteer Maryland, I operate in the future tense. My job is to  help people imagine a near future in which they partner or serve with Volunteer Maryland. Over the winter, I assist people with this thought experiment by traveling the State, meeting staff and board members from nonprofits, schools and government agencies. I get to learn about their work, which is in virtually every instance inspirational, and share with them about how partnership with Volunteer Maryland can help them engage volunteers to meet critical community needs.

What a gig, right?

Right now, I am in the thick of that travel. Over the next two months, Charlotte Davis of the Rural Maryland Council and I will host information sessions at the Accokeek Foundation, Adkins Arboretum, Quiet Waters Park, the Nonprofit Center in Westminster, the College of Southern Maryland, A Wider Circle, and the Greenwell Foundation. Phew!

In addition to these travels, this is the time of year when I facilitate webinars and speak individually with potential Volunteer Maryland partners, all with the hope of sharing Volunteer Maryland’s expertise, experience and resources with 30 organizations during our upcoming service year, which runs from September 2015 through August 2016.

The most extraordinary resources we share, are, of course, the Volunteer Maryland Coordinators themselves. Each year, 30 individuals commit to a year of serving full-time, helping the organizations where they are placed develop sustainable, effective volunteer programs. Programs in which volunteers directly serve community needs, make a measurable difference, and are well recognized for their efforts.

Throughout the next few months, I’ll share updates and observations about Volunteer Maryland’s journey into the future. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact me at kerry.ose@maryland.gov.