July Volunteer of the Month: Patricia Leonard
Patricia Leonard is extremely passionate about empowering women. In her corporate, volunteer, and personal life her goal is to “inspire women to break through any glass ceilings through leadership and contribution.” She believes that talk is not enough – we have to act in order to empower. This is played out specifically in her volunteer life through her work with Nashville Women in Film & Television where she serves on the board and Dress for Success where she volunteers as a coach.
A unique characteristic about Patricia is her ability to listen to other people’s desires and to help make those desires a reality. Whether is it giving someone an avenue to perform or by coaching someone through starting her dream business, Patricia is excited and ready to help anyone willing to step up and ask. She inspires people to chase their dreams and to pursue what they want out of life through sharing her talents and life experiences and encouraging others to share theirs.
Written by: Katie Christ
June Volunteer of the Month: Jimmy Pitts
Jimmy Pitts loves sports almost as much as he loves service. Between coaching basketball and serving on the corporate board of the Boys and Girls Club of Rutherford County, Jimmy constantly looks to improve the lives of those around him. The work of every Boys and Girls Club focuses on the underprivileged youth, surrounding them with positive influences in their most formative years.
From an early age, Jimmy remembers playing every sport from soccer to baseball with what was then his local Boys and Girls Club in Florida. He enjoyed the competition, excitement, and teamwork. Later in life the values instilled in him through the sports began shining through his life decisions. In late 2010, he became involved with the sports program at Boys and Girls Club of Rutherford County at the Smyrna location and has been coaching ever since. However, Jimmy’s passion for sports is often shadowed by his love for the children. His volunteerism is not solely focused on sharing his love for sports, but rather is an attempt to surround Smyrna youth with positive values during the years they discover themselves.
Written by: Ryan Wilson
Marilin, Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month, with some of the people she serves at Possibility Place
Marilin Kelley is spreading love in Nashville. A recent Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) mathematics graduate, Marilin is preparing for graduate school at Virginia Tech in the Fall of 2019. In conversation with Marilin, her pursuit of knowledge is apparent, however her love for others shines more clearly than anything else. From nonprofit service with businesses such as Possibility Place and The Experience Community Church, Marilin consistently works to show others love; she is a clear example that volunteerism can give to the volunteer.
In high school, Marilin was a member and then officer of a service club. Working with organizations such as Salvation Army, Feed America First, and the Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center encouraged her more serious involvement with volunteerism. She now works as a research assistant and substitute teacher at MTSU. Despite her aptitude for more technical studies, the social aspect of volunteering does not discourage Marilin. Rather, the diversity of volunteering inspires Marilin to learn more about her community and herself.
At Possibility Place Marilin helps developmentally disabled adults grow into independence. She also volunteers at The Experience Community Church, leading part of their middle school ministry. Marilin strives to bring love into her community, albeit in the classroom, church, or learning center. Service opens doors to see people and places one might not normally experience, and Marilin is constantly working to bring love into those unreached places.
Written by: Ryan Wilson
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month: Lauranette Ford
Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She has found a way to put a deep truth of life to a poetic tune: no matter what we think we are saying or doing at any given moment, the way people perceive what we do is what they will remember. This quote is a central part of Lauranette Ford’s life as a volunteer in our beautiful city, one that deeply values music education.
Lauranette has found creative and impactful ways to touch people’s lives. She serves with many organizations in town, a highlight of which is the forthcoming National Museum of African American Music, which hasn’t opened its doors yet, but the entire team (of which Lauranette is both on staff in one department and volunteering for others) has been working for months to prepare a pivotal educational experience in the city where the pulse of music never ends. This undertaking requires many hours and work that is multi-faceted in its requirements, and Lauranette works hard to make sure people feel truly heard and loved through it all.
Written by: Anna Lopez
Tommy Wolosin is Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month. The Director of Technical Sales and Marketing started his volunteer work around ten years ago with the organization Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as various work with children’s camps and after school programs. Tommy’s journey with the Nashville community began in 1999 after serving in the Air Force for ten years. Once out of the Air Force, Tommy decided to stay with a friend in Nashville and use Nashville as a hub for finding jobs in other areas. Almost twenty years later, and Tommy not only calls Nashville home, but he also works hard to help Nashville become a better place.
Teaching the kids at Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing about internet safety was how Tommy’s volunteerism began, and through that experience he realized the need for an IT director that would help organizations navigate technological challenges they face. Now Tommy helps businesses and individuals figure out the best moves to ensure the success of their companies. He spends time teaching others what he has learned in the field of IT and business. His passion, however, also resides within working with children.
Tommy’s advice for those wanting to volunteer? It’s easy to find a place to volunteer, especially in a city like Nashville. There are so many different types of volunteer work; either working with children like Tommy, working with animals, businesses, or those who are homeless. The opportunities are out there, the hard part is making them priority. Tommy does this by scheduling time every Monday, and if he is able to do that, others can, too.
“Serving others has always been a passion of mine and I will always make service over self a priority,” says Corey Alexander, Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month for October. This generous, giving young professional started as a young athlete, became a two-sport athlete at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, volunteered for a variety of nonprofits and discovered his joy of serving young people and helping them achieve their goals. In response to that, he founded the 501c3 nonprofit College Bound Athletics (CBA) where they help young athletes and their families take the right steps to achieve collegiate goals. “I feel that we all have a duty to give back to others who may be in need or who are less fortunate than we are.”
Sports are part of who Corey is at his core, and he continues his passion as an adult by coaching young people and weight lifting. He also lives in Nashville, works as the CFO of Ross Behavioral Group, and lives with his wife and two dogs named Blue and Bailey.
Corey gives back in areas outside of sports throughout our community and the world. Locally he has volunteered with the American Red Cross Nashville Area, Habitat of Greater Nashville, the Ross Center Foundation for Mental Health, the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and The Frist Arts Museum where he serves on the board. After his being named an upcoming Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month, he began serving on the board of Doing Good where he helps this entrepreneurial nonprofit achieve its goals.
Globally Corey and his wife serve on mission trips to Kenya through Cross Point Church. “There is always someone in need, and God gave me hands to work and heart to help.”