5 Questions about Community Engagement with ELA Member Megan Grimes
ELA Member Shares Personal Journey of Leadership
The Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA) is committed to developing a community of future leaders, creating opportunities for action, growth and regional pride. And these folks don’t just talk the talk. Members of the ELA show their dedication to the region’s development by volunteering their time to community efforts outside of ELA commitments.
ELA member Megan Grimes shared information about her involvement in several non-profit groups and why she thinks it is important to give back.
1. What community groups do you volunteer with?
I pour my heart and soul into Nontraditional Employment for Women (N.E.W.) Workshop Fort Wayne, a local nonprofit, with the mission to empower and inspire young women through collaboration with local female leaders in nontraditional careers. I also chair the Living Fort Wayne Summer Concert Series and actively volunteer for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). GiveHear and NeighborLink are two local organizations I support by donating my time and talent to help with various projects and fundraisers.
2. What inspired you to become such an involved member in the community?
Over a decade ago, I watched as a handful of locals planned and plotted and eventually gained the support from the community to welcome Parkview Field to Downtown Fort Wayne. I remember thinking they were bonkers expecting something like that to actually come to fruition. Of course, they sure did prove me wrong. It was since the grand opening of that new, state-of-the-art baseball stadium that I realized anyone can make anything happen. Now, I’m serving on several committees and volunteering for local organizations and initiatives to continue to improve our region.
3. What is one thing you have learned about northeast Indiana through your volunteer experiences?
Thanks to my volunteer experiences over the years, I’ve learned Northeast Indiana is a kind, enjoyable and welcoming place. Our people are bighearted and driven. They are motivated to continue the development of our region to secure a better, brighter and safer future for everyone.
4. Why is it important for young leaders to be involved in advancing the region?
Every generation is different. They have different values. Different goals. Different perspectives. Different expectations. It’s important for young leaders to be involved in advancing the region so the improvements and changes in our community make sense. It’s important so young leaders have a sense of stewardship and citizenship. Through community engagement, young leaders take ownership and become contributors to the well-being of the region. It’s important because the future of our region depends on it.
5. What would you tell someone who wants to take action and get involved but isn’t sure where to start?
Google. Honestly, if you don’t know where to start, start by researching what nonprofit organizations are in the area. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect fit for your interests. Volunteerism is a great way to learn new skills, meet new people and give back to your community all at the same time.
- by Megan Grimes, ELA member