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Lead by Example

Do you want to know what makes YVC leadership special? They consistently make the choice to show up, elevate youth voice, and engage volunteers in service-learning activities. Youth volunteers are watching adult leadership and the example they set. Sometimes, we also like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on someone we admire. Enjoy this story about someone who is working towards her own lifetime of service while inspiring others.

Leslie Hamil worked for 20 years in the healthcare field before wishing for something different. The nonprofit world was immensely new to her, but she enjoyed the work it brought. Leslie began collaborating with Girl Scouts in their Outreach Department then moved to the Marketing and Membership Executives. While working with Girl Scouts, she found her passion for giving back to her community. She then met Eileen Van Kirk (the previous director of the Muskogee Teen Center and YVC of Muskogee). Through meeting Eileen Van Kirk, she found that YVC was perfect for her. She became a YVC Team Leader in the Spring of 2013 and has continued her work with YVC Muskogee since then.

Leslie became the director when Eileen retired in early 2020. All of the volunteers were ecstatic about her promotion because she had been a part of the YVC Muskogee family for so long. Hamil states, “I feel very proud that I get to be a part of something so great.” Since becoming the director, she has worked successfully to fulfill the duties asked of her. Hamil adores building relationships with the volunteers, team leaders, and the Muskogee community partners. One of her favorite parts of being the director is that she gets to see firsthand what is going on in her community and to help YVC volunteers be a part of that. She says, “watching [the volunteers] light up when they are making a difference is what I like most.” Being a part of YVC has greatly impacted her life.

I have been a volunteer with YVC Muskogee since 2018 and Leslie has been there with me every step of the way. From encouraging me to apply to the local Youth Advisory Board even to the International Youth Advisory Board, she has been truly supportive of me. Leslie makes sure all of the volunteers feel comforted and safe. She has helped me to discover my love for nonprofit work and helping my community. I am proud of my affiliate because of all the work she puts into making us outstanding!

Cadey has been volunteering with YVC in Muskogee since September of 2018. In her time of being a member of YVC, she has received the 100-in-1 award and Gold in the President’s Volunteer Service Award. She is currently a junior at Hilldale High School and President of the NIKE Club. Her interests include reading novels, playing video games, spending time with her family, and most importantly playing with her pets! Since she has joined YVC, she has come to understand what she can do to make a difference in her community.