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The Centers for Youth and Families Emerging Leaders

Generations of Generosity: Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter Honorees

By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves

The Centers for Youth & Families established Emerging Leaders, a young professionals auxiliary, to cultivate volunteerism and develop the organization’s future leaders as well as support the organization’s mission fulfillment work. Since 2011, Emerging Leaders has generated more than $850,000 through special events, general donations, sponsorships and online campaigns. This results-focused philosophy earned the auxiliary the Outstanding Volunteer Organization honor. According to The Centers therapists, the impact of Emerging Leaders continues – providing more programs and services for comprehensive mental health care –  and “has been life-changing for the thousands of children and youth who come to The Centers each year,” according to Chris Shenep, executive director of The Centers Foundation.

Emerging Leaders Chairman Greg McCarroll represents the auxiliary’s philosophy and provides a personal perspective.

A philanthropic perspective is a no-brainer, Greg says. “As I continue to give more and more, my ‘why’ has grown. I definitely gain more from the experiences than I ever thought possible.”

Providing children more healthy and happy lives in loving homes surrounded by family and friends is an initiative that Emerging Leaders wholeheartedly supports. “Being a father myself, I know how important it is for individuals to have access to support, resources and role models. The heroes who work the front line at The Centers do all they can to provide prevention, intervention and treatment in hopes of reaching kids at a critically important time in their childhood and adolescence. They provide reassurance that no matter the obstacles, things are going to be alright.”

Experiencing the powerful impact that a group of individuals like Emerging Leaders can make is the most rewarding part about being involved with The Centers, Greg says. “Many of these kids have never known a positive influence or interacted with any type of role model. However, I don’t know if we realized the impact these children and youth would have on us as young professionals and everything we would be learning from them. These children have been through a lot, and among the things they have taught us include what it means to be tough, tenacious, grateful and resilient.”

The civic leadership skills that Emerging Leaders cultivates makes it “a terrific” starting place for individuals who want to get more involved in the community, Greg says. “I believe the key to the success of any organization is to have a strong base of volunteers that will later grow into board members. It’s rewarding to continue the tradition of serving with some of the most well respected business and community leaders through involvement with The Centers for Youth & Families.”

Philosophy to live by:
“Do what you love. It sounds cliché because you hear it all the time, but I have found it to be true. This is important for you professionally, personally, philanthropically – in every aspect.”

Giving thanks:
“I’m lucky to have the love and support of my wife, son, parents, siblings, in-laws and more, and feel very fortunate to have my son’s grandparents living in the same community.”

Notable quote:
“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” – John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Inviting Arkansas

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