may 2020 spotlight member: courtney soder
This month's Spotlight focuses on Courtney Soder. Courtney has been a member of the Member & Business Engagement committee since YEP's relaunch in January 2018. Courtney works for the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania as a Volunteer Support Specialist. Courtney has been a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts—she has been a staff member for the past 10 years and a volunteer 6 years prior before! Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 as the preeminent leadership development organization for girls across America. "Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place," said Courtney. Through their skill-building Girl Scout Leadership Experience, they are preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success and adventure in a safe, no limits place designed for and by girls. Girl Scouts helps girls take the lead in activities like earning badges, taking trips-both locally and internationally, getting outdoors, performing community service projects, and participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program (yum!), the foundation of entrepreneurial experience in Girl Scouts. Adding to the fact, they are backed by more than 100 years of experience and expertise to prove it!
When asking Courtney why she joined YEP, she stated, "It was to connect with likeminded individuals who want to help better the Erie Community, strengthen our foundation, all the while working towards the same goals." Courtney has helped the Member and Business Engagement Committee with several of the events put on over the past two years, such as the "Industry Fun & Games Night at LEAF" and the "Showcasing Erie's Downtown Living" events. However, when asked what her favorite type of YEP events are to attend, she responded enthusiastically, "There is no doubt in my mind that it is our annual 40 under 40 Experience to celebrate all the Young Erie Professionals, but I also enjoy the monthly Off the Clock Events." When asked how Courtney uses YEP to her advantage with the Girl Scouts, and especially during the current circumstances of the novel COVID-19 Pandemic, Courtney stated, "The promotion of Girl Scout Cookie Sales right now – while COVID-19 has impacted our sales, we have switched our focus to our Hometown Hero's and donated cookies throughout our council to frontline workers. If you wish to donate to our efforts, you can do so here. It has also given me the opportunity to meet potential volunteers and program partners. While we primarily have traditional volunteers, volunteers do not have to be a parent of a girl – it can be a college student, an older sibling (18+), relative or someone who has a strong passion for the mission. We are always looking for strong leaders, so visit www.gswpa.org to begin your next steps!" Lastly, one thing that Courtney would like to see YEP get involved in, is to give back to the community more and help those in need the most – such as working with homeless shelters, consider helping with the Boys and Girls Club, or even adopt a nursing home. She said "To me, giving back is a really big part of everything we should be doing."
If any Young Erie Professional would like to get a hold of Courtney and help volunteer with her mission, she can be reached here at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call at 1-800-248-3355 / 814-373-9200. Thank you, Courtney!