Amanda Itliong “Ms. Metamorphosis” Volunteer Program Consultant for PLM Families Together

Professionally, Amanda Itliong (alias: “Ms. Metamorphosis”) is the Director of N.C. State’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service; and her work history boasts some impressive accolades as well, including 3 years in Detroit as a nonprofit consultant. However, it is her most recent work as an Activate Good Pro Hero with PLM Families Together (PLMFT) where she is ‘transforming’ her work experience to assist Wake County families in need. Volunteer Program Consultant for PLM Families Together More than 30 years ago, Pan Lutheran Ministries (now PLM Families Together) was founded by five people from three Wake County Lutheran churches who saw a need in the community to help families in crisis. Decades later, PLM Families Together (PLMFT) provides housing and comprehensive services for families experiencing homelessness in Wake County.  Their programs include assessment, short-term housing, rapid re-housing support, intensive support services, permanent housing placement, and 12-month stabilization care. In October 2013, PLMFT hired a Community Engagement Coordinator to help engage community groups and individuals through meaningful volunteer and educational experiences, as well as to enhance the enrichment activities for the families participating in PLMFT programs. Connecting to the Triangle Volunteer Community in a Meaningful Way Itliong was eager to join the rank of 2014 Pro Heroes to fill the need for a Volunteer Program Consultant: “Homelessness is an issue I’ve worked with extensively throughout my career, and this need fits well with my skills and experience.” In her Pro Heroes role as volunteer program consultant, Itliong is working with PLMFT Community Engagement Coordinator, Kylene Dibble, to offer guidance on how to further shape the nonprofit’s Community Engagement Coordinator position...

School’s Out for the Summer: College Edition

School’s out for summer! Now what? After taking a couple of weeks to recover from finals, think about volunteering some of your free time to a local nonprofit. Not only will you feel great helping a worthy cause, but it could also help shape your future career path. How? By getting hands-on experience that you might not find in a traditional classroom. Here are some ideas to get you started: Neighbor to Neighbor Outreach creates programs to help support families in lower income neighborhoods in Raleigh. This summer, they need volunteers to mentor elementary age kids during a five-week multicultural and language arts camp. This is a perfect opportunity to put those early childhood education classes to use and see what it’s like to be in front of the classroom instead of behind a desk. If you have a passion for animals, consider volunteering at the Carolina Tiger Rescue, which rescues wildcats in captivity and brings them to their sanctuary in Pittsboro. They offer tours to the public, so you can work on the public speaking skills you learned in communications class by becoming a tour guide. Or, if you’re considering going into animal science, you can volunteer to help care for the wildcats, including feeding them and helping create activities to keep them active. The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle finds innovative ways to end hunger in the Triangle. If you’re interested in a career in the food industry or if you’re majoring in agriculture, connect with this organization to see the unique ways they feed families in need. They work with local restaurants to pick up leftover food that...

TRiO Day highlights volunteerism as part of path to higher education

In addition to making an impact on the community, volunteering is increasingly recognized as a mechanism to boost access to leadership and education opportunities for youth. That’s one message of TRiO Day, a “national day of celebration, reflection, and action around increased access to higher education for disadvantaged students.” In Raleigh, NC State University is leading the TRiO Day charge. On Saturday, February 23, students from low-income families aiming to be the first in their families to graduate from college will gather to learn, lead, and volunteer. For these students, volunteer service is a natural part of their path to success. According to Sarah Wright, Student Support Services TRiO Program coordinator, “the purpose of [TRiO Day] is to bring attention to the needs of under resourced youth and adults aspiring to improve their lives, and the investment that is needed by our community to assist them in making their aspirations of higher education a reality.” At NC State University, TRiO students and staff will be engaging in three different service projects: Creating positive letters/cards to be sent to military families, sorting and packaging clothes with Note In The Pocket to be distributed to needy children in our region, and providing college-readiness advice and encouragement to the families of NCSU staff and the program target school communities. Activate Good President Amber Smith will be talking to students about the importance of volunteer service, service-related scholarships, and how to continue service throughout and beyond college. “Volunteerism isn’t just about service. It’s also about taking initiative to solve community problems, and leadership. We’re excited to participate in an event that highlights volunteerism as an...