Update us! What has happened to you since you last served on the NYAB?After my NYAB term, I was lucky enough to be chosen by the members to serve alongside Ashley Kempa on Souper Bowl of Caring's Board of Directors. In Summer 2009, I started college at the University of Florida. (Go Gators!) I double majored in Public Relations and Family, Youth & Community Sciences and minored in Business Administration and Nonprofit Leadership. I wanted to be as well rounded as possible in hopes of landing a job in the nonprofit sector. In addition to serving on Souper Bowl of Caring's Board, I volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters and interned with Catholic Charities throughout college. They were all incredibly rewarding experiences. Almost two years ago, during my graduation ceremony, I received a call from Dr. Brad Smith, Souper Bowl of Caring founder. He said he had a job for me at Souper Bowl of Caring's new headquarters in Houston, TX. I could not have been more thrilled!
What are you doing now?After packing my bags up and moving to Houston from Florida, I started work as the Communications and Food Drive Coordinator for Souper Bowl of Caring. I was the only one in the new headquarters for a little while, but I immediately started to learn so much. Now, I am able to be creative every day, like creating our #SouperStars series and this NYAB: Where are they now? series! I manage the Houston and Austin markets and am the director of the National Youth Advisory Board program. I feel especially humbled to have transitioned into this role and honored to be able to serve as a mentor to students who come through the program now (like Tracy Bender was to me). In addition, I added a new member to my family: Regal, he is my one and half year old golden collie.
How would you say serving on the NYAB influenced your life?Serving on the National Youth Advisory Board forever changed my life. I absolutely fell in love with the organization - and now, they can't get rid of me! I feel so lucky to have gotten my dream job right out of college. I am grateful every single day for Souper Bowl of Caring. I tribute their mission and staff for molding me into the person I am today - and for constantly allowing me to learn new things and mature. Not many have the story I do, but I know that will change as the organization continues to grow, and I am so excited that I will be here to witness it.
Anything you would like to tell future NYAB members?Souper Bowl of Caring and your experience serving as a National Youth Advisory Board member is what you make it. It's your story to write, and I encourage you to make it a good one!
I also encourage you to stay in touch with your fellow members. Not only are they incredible people, but they may end up being your best friends. For example, I will be a bridesmaid in Ashley Kempa's wedding next year. We met through the National Youth Advisory Board and our lives were never the same.
And just a friendly remember that 2015-2016 applications must be postmarked by Monday, June 8, 2015. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to be moved and move others.
Final thoughts?I want to thank all the past NYAB members for their continued support. Every once in a while I hit them up to do assignments like this or to answer phones on Super Bowl Sunday. They are always quick to respond and eager to help. I appreciate it. I also wanted to thank Souper Bowl of Caring's staff: current and past. All of you played a role in me being here today, and I couldn't be more grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
#NYAB: Where are they now? - Melissa Daigneault
To promote our 2015-2016 National Youth Advisory Board applications that we are currently accepting, we thought it would be fun to see what our past members are up to now! This week, we hear from a very special past member, Melissa Daigneault, who now works for us!
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