Susan Hall-Hardwick always loved helping in the nonprofit world. “I like the idea of doing good, and working on projects I truly care about,” said Susan. “People in the nonprofit world are so appreciative and grateful for the work you do.”
Susan had started her CPA certification years earlier, but took time off to raise her kids, as well as fundraising at the local school and volunteering at several local nonprofits. Looking back, not finishing her CPA was one of Susan’s biggest life regrets, so Susan made a commitment to complete her certification.
Coincidentally, Sharalyn Hamilton, former Executive Director of the YWCA of Pasadena, came to Melanie Goodyear at Jericho Road Pasadena with a request for a volunteer to help with bookkeeping. So when Melanie met Susan, Melanie immediately came up with a plan to help Susan complete her CPA certification while volunteering at the YWCA.
Melanie introduced Susan to Sharalyn and Jessica Kubel, Associate Director, and they hit it off immediately. The YWCA was appealing to Susan because of their focus on helping young women move into adulthood, a cause she had always felt deeply about. Susan agreed to volunteer at the YWCA for 3 days a week, and was able to complete the 630 hours she needed to complete her CPA certification. It was a wonderful opportunity for Susan and the YWCA, brought together by Jericho Road Pasadena.
Susan loves it at the YWCA because the contribution she makes is truly appreciated. In addition to her volunteer bookkeeping, she put together a seminar on personal finance for the girls at YWCA, including how to budget, and how much they need to earn in order to take care of themselves.
In fact, the partnership has worked so well that when the Jericho Road project was completed, the YWCA asked Susan to stay on as bookkeeper in a paid position, working 3 days a week!
The YWCA of Pasadena works with 25-30 girls each year, helping them set life goals and providing girls with the guidance they need to ultimately achieve their goals. Facing increased peer pressure and media influence, girls are being diverted from fulfilling their potential academically and as leaders in the community. The team at the YWCA acts as a buffer against the crazy outside world and provides a safe, nurturing place for girls to find out who they are and what they can do.
The YWCA also has technology classes for the girls and adults, helping them manage their finances and getting them engaged in the workforce. The team at the YWCA encourages the girls to help at nonprofit, in particular to help with social media.
We asked Susan what advice she might have for people who are thinking of volunteering their time. “Speak with Melanie at Jericho Road Pasadena, find a nonprofit project you are interested in and simply give it a try,” said Susan. “The nonprofits need your help, and as a volunteer, they will be greatly appreciative of your efforts. The nonprofit and the volunteer consultant both gain from the experience.”
Jericho Road Pasadena is an organization that helps people utilize their skills to make a difference with nonprofits. In the case of Susan and the YWCA of Pasadena, that connection was clearly a win-win for everyone involved.