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Volunteer Spotlight

Katie Black

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Druid Hills Academy

Katie Black with studentHow did you come to be a volunteer with CIS at Druid Hills Academy?
I learned about CIS through Women of Vision, a part of World Vision International. The principal and the two CIS site coordinators at Druid Hills, Joseph Allen and Suzanne Hunt, gave a very effective presentation to our group about the need for volunteers at the school and surrounding community. I knew this was where I wanted to be.

What are your primary duties as a volunteer at Druid Hills?
I am mentoring a second grade student, T’aisjah. She lives with her grandmother, who has six grandchildren under the age of 14 living with her. One evening last year, the whole family went with me to “movie night” at my church. We had a great time. In addition to mentoring T’aisjah, several other Women of Vision volunteers and I are teaching a “Life Skills” class to fifth graders, teaching skills like basic sewing, simple crockpot cooking, and interpersonal skills – etiquette, respect for others, etc.

Why do you volunteer?
There’s a verse in the bible (Luke 12:48) that Women of Vision members feel compelled to follow: “To those whom much is given, much will be required; from the one who has entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. I don’t want to spend my life only enjoying what I have been given, whether I have worked to earn it or not. I was born into circumstances that afforded me opportunities to attend college and gain the skills to support myself. I want to use my resources to serve the Lord by helping families and kids whose lives are difficult – no matter what the reason. I want to share my time and resources because I am able to. Honestly, the bottom line is this: the Lord is active in this community and sees their need and has placed our organization there to serve in whatever capacity we are needed.

What is the best part about being a volunteer through CIS at Druid Hills Academy?
I appreciate the partnerships that exist there between the administration, CIS and the volunteers. CIS is able to initially identify kids and families with difficult and complex needs. We are then able to partner with CIS to address them on a personal level, one family at a time. Your staff is professional and able to articulate the unique needs that exist in neighborhoods like Druid Hills. They are also street-smart and willing to get in the trenches to address the issues these families have at the grassroots level. As a volunteer, it is gratifying to work hand in hand with an organization that not only cares, but is willing and equipped to do what it takes to affect positive change in the lives of these families.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I appreciate the opportunity to serve at Druid Hills with Joe Allen and Suzanne Hunt. I admire the fact that these articulate, intelligent people who could easily be successful in the corporate world, have chosen instead to help at-risk children succeed in life.

Katie is a native Charlottean and the proud mother of a daughter, Elizabeth, who is a senior at N.C. State University.

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