Archive | March 2014

BJ Givens Volunteers Because “It’s Up to Me”

BJ Givens

There are many issues that need to be addressed in our community, but B.J. Givens believes in making authentic, real change that begins when our youth are properly educated.  “Education is my personal conviction,” B.J. says. “It’s up to me to do something about it; and my faith calls me to use my talents and abilities to help those who may not already realize the potential within themselves.”

He’s doing something about it by serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Purpose Prep, a new Charter School located in Nashville’s Metro Center.  The school currently services 92 kindergarten students, primarily from the North Nashville area.  Purpose Prep will add one grade per year until 2017, when it will have kindergarten through fourth grade.

B.J. works for Parallon, Inc., a subsidiary of HCA headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. He learned about Purpose Prep when he reconnected with a former grad school classmate who serves as Board Chairman.  “I was so excited about Purpose Prep that I called my friend the next day and asked him how I could get involved,” he exclaimed.  Reflecting on the students of Purpose Prep and his own similar childhood he said, “I believe in these scholars just as someone once believed in me.”

For the past year he has served as Board Secretary and on the Resource Development Committee.  That committee’s goal is to raise approximately $300,000 a year, in addition to public funding, to afford the academic enrichment needs of the scholars.

He listens and reaps new riches 

For B.J., volunteering isn’t just about giving, it’s also about learning.  “I’ve learned the importance of understanding the true need of the person or people I am trying to help,” he says.  “What I think is needed may not necessarily be what’s actually needed.  I’ve learned that it is critical to listen first, and then move forward with my efforts.  I’ve also gained many impactful insights into my own life by helping others. I come away from each experience richer and more fulfilled.  I love working with the children we serve, not just helping in the administration and fund raising.  That’s where the rubber meets the road and what feeds my heart.” B.J. says.

In addition to his first love and passion for Purpose Prep, B.J. is heavily involved with Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, an economic development organization in Tennessee that works to help organizations of all sizes improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.  He serves as a Board Examiner, working directly with companies across Tennessee to help assess where improvements can be made in areas of operations, human resources and organizational development.  The ultimate goal is to help the organizations succeed to create more jobs in Tennessee.   B.J. also volunteers through his church on various projects in and around the Nashville community, as the need arises.

Doing Good is proud to recognize B.J. Givens as Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month for March.

Join the Conversation:  Where do you like to roll up your sleeves?  What issues call you to action? What do you learn from volunteering?  What wouldn’t get done if you didn’t go it?

Blog Written by:  Karen E. Williams, a volunteer with Doing Good, an organization dedicated to promoting volunteerism.  The website is  Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a free program which educates and inspires others to volunteer by sharing stories of local volunteers through media partners.