In our new series, “The Board Corner,” we are getting to know our Board of Directors and learning what drew them to serving with Sister Schools.
When Melissa joined the Board seven years ago, she had no idea of the impact Sister Schools would have on her life. That’s why, between juggling her career and raising a family, she still finds time to help Sister Schools carry out its mission of teaching compassion, service, and social responsibility.
Outside of work, family and volunteering, Melissa can be found riding her horses, backpacking, skiing, mountain climbing, and boating.
Learn more about what drives her to bring that same energy to helping children both in Uganda and our local communities.
To start, tell us how you got involved with Sister Schools.
I was at an industry dinner for my profession. Kasey Wyatt, a past board member, gave a presentation at that dinner about Sister Schools. I was so moved by the mission and her experience with the organization that she and I ended up talking after dinner. We later met for coffee with Program Director Terry McGill and I asked many questions about Sister Schools. Ultimately, I got involved because I think it’s so important for kids to learn about giving. No matter if it’s a small gesture or a big donation, helping kids understand what giving means can really change their perspective on life.
As a business expert, what part of our mission and program connects with you most?
As an account executive for energy services in the education sector, I am focused on working with schools and school districts. My role is to help schools save energy and operational dollars that directly relate to freeing up more money for students, teachers and educational programs. The Sister Schools program gives a unique opportunity for kids to be able to give to other kids; it creates a lasting impression on each side and helps them understand the world around them.
Why is it rewarding for you to serve on the board?
I feel that the more people in this world understand what giving truly is, the better the world will be. The simple act of giving a used pencil from one child to another, and that pencil changing a child’s life in Uganda, is special. For kids to have that experience and then understand they can make a difference will help empower them to make the world a better place.
If you could ask the local community to do ONE THING to support Sister Schools this year, what would it be?
I’ve heard Sister Schools be called a fire starter—something that ignites the imagination in our kids. I would ask our communities to learn more about the organization and help bring it to their local schools.