Anthony Rodriguez, Vice President at Northern Trust and co-chair of UCAN’s Auxiliary Board of young professionals, knows that a major component to the success of any social service agency is the funding the organization receives that allows them to deliver services to those in need. Like his fellow board peers, Anthony is a dedicated volunteer board member who uses his talents and networks to secure funding and other resources to help make a difference in the lives of our youth and families.
How did you learn about UCAN and what made you want to become a member of the Auxiliary Board?
About three years ago, I learned about UCAN through a non-profit fair held by my employer, Northern Trust. The UCAN representative at the fair happened to be the staff Auxiliary Board liaison and when I told her about my background in child advocacy and volunteer work, she asked if I would be interested in joining the board. After she told me about UCAN’s mission and how it contributes to the community, I was ready to do whatever I could to help such an amazing organization.
Have you done any volunteer work with UCAN outside of the Auxiliary Board?
Outside of the Aux Board, thus far I’ve only volunteered at the Family Focus food pantry with other people from UCAN. I hope to get involved with UCAN’s Project Visible Man program or some speaking opportunities in the near future.
What do you hope to gain as a board member and how do you hope to make an impact though your volunteer work?
The best part about being a board member has been the exposure to the organization and its leadership. I have such a better understanding of how the vision, mission and values are put into action. The leadership and staff are so passionate about the things they do that it inspires me to do whatever I can to help them accomplish their mission. I feel like what I do is so small in relation to everything UCAN does but the fundraising and all the efforts of the Auxiliary Board still feel rewarding to move the needle even a little to help the community. Since the organization is so well run, I think every dollar goes a long way.
What has been your best or most rewarding experience with UCAN to this point?
Hearing their stories, learning about their development and understanding the goals that they achieved is truly remarkable. It makes everything I do for UCAN worthwhile and only makes me wish I could do so much more.
What would you tell others who may be considering becoming a UCAN volunteer?
I would encourage them to learn more. The more you learn about UCAN, the more you will want to be involved, although I may be biased. Learn about the passion that UCAN staff have for their work. The compassion and guidance they demonstrate towards youth is second to none. I would tell them to learn about the breadth, depth and integration of services that help youth in such a unique way. The organization also seems to care about its people and the staff is well trained. There is a heavy emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Most importantly, learning about the youth success stories will make you want to get involved. After that, do a self-assessment of what you want to accomplish and the skills and value you can bring to the organization. UCAN has coordinators that can help people find the right fit.
If you want to get involved with UCAN please click here for information on our volunteer opportunities.