Pam: I’ve lived in Austin about three years and am a mom to a son about to leave for college. Professionally, I’m the VP of HR for a private equity firm in Washington, D.C. I enjoy hiking, cooking and time with friends and family.
SH: What brought you to The Settlement Home?
Pam: A friend knew about my involvement in a girl’s home in Panama, where we lived before moving to Austin. She thought The Settlement Home might be a good way to continue that type of work locally and introduced me. She was right.
SH: Why is volunteering important to you?
Pam: We all need to help each other through life. Everyone has a different childhood and a different path, but as adults we need people around who support and help us. Volunteering is a way to provide support and help to people that don’t have their own network to do that. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, and I learn something new from the girls all the time.
SH: What’s your favorite part of being a volunteer?
Pam: Working with the girls and watching something you’ve taught them sink in and change the way they think. Watching them learn to create positive dreams for their lives and to put plans in place to achieve those dreams is wonderful to see and be a part of.
SH: How would you describe your role as a volunteer at The Home?
Pam: I’m an individual mentor. I’m working with my second young lady now, but work mostly one on one with one of the girls.
SH: What kinds of activities do you plan with your kiddo?
Pam: It depends on the kiddo’s interests. We cook together, hike, explore around town and spend time just talking about her day and her goals.
SH: What advice do you have for other volunteers?
Pam: Communicate with the staff about any concerns you have. Know your limits (time, money, etc.) and communicate those so you maintain a volunteer level that you are comfortable with. Have fun with them. They are neat young ladies.
SH: What is your favorite quote?
Pam: I’ve got two. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
“Build your life with the options you have, not the ones you wish you had.” -Carolyn Hax
SH: What inspires you?
Pam: True stores of hard work and kindness. Those are always inspiring.