Updated: Jul 29
WIT Young Leaders ‘Represent’ at President George H.W. Bush’s
Points of Light Conference
Five Women in Training Young Leaders attended the July 14-16, 2021, Points of Light Conference, virtually, thanks to scholarships the organization awarded to Women in Training, Inc.
“I have learned so many things through this conference, such as how volunteering can be found in so many forms,” wrote Hannah Huston from LAMP Magnet High School about her Points of Light Conference experience. “Maybe it is a donation of time or money, or maybe it is a shared social media post that helps to spread valuable information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and even now as we are beginning to recover from it, volunteering has had to adapt. Points of Light helped to introduce me to all different types of changes that happened to make volunteering still possible during this dark time. Whether it was in Fort Collins, where they set up a system to get people connected to services they needed if they could not leave the house, or in Chicago, where the organization Chicago Cares started a podcast called How Chicago Cares that helps to inform and connect the city.”
Likewise, Gabrielle Johns of Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School wrote: “One of my favorite sessions was ‘Managing Challenging Volunteers and Reducing Conflict’ because I can relate to this topic very well. I was grateful to meet Betsy McFarland, who informed me about how it could be stressful and strenuous to work with volunteers who are unproductive. I myself have had experiences like this, and a couple ways I reduced conflict is by either working by myself or choosing another group. You want volunteers who want to donate their time to create change; that will not be accomplished if you have a volunteer who is either unproductive, mouthy, or overall just doesn't care about the group project. That's why it's very important to ensure you pick the right leadership roles for the right volunteer. You should always let volunteers express their feelings about a topic and make them comfortable. Volunteering helps you connect with your community to come to a solution for community problems.”
The Points of Light Foundation was established by President George H.W. Bush to acknowledge individuals making a difference. During his administration, President Bush formally recognized more than 1,000 volunteers as “points of light.” He advocated that “points of light” demonstrate how “a neighbor can help a neighbor.” Breanna and Brooke Bennett, founders of Women in Training, were recognized as Points of Light in February 2020.