This summer, Amber Walker stepped out of the familiar world of corporate banking at Wells Fargo and slipped into the daily workings and busy musings of nonprofit life at AVANCE. Amber’s spirited belief in AVANCE’s mission and the organization’s ongoing enhancement and expansion prompted her to apply for Wells Fargo’s Volunteer Service Leave Program. This unique program grants employees a temporary, alternative work experience in outside organizations serving the community. Amber was eager to apply for the exciting opportunity to be immersed in her favorite organization, AVANCE-Austin.
An active community member, Amber initially learned of AVANCE through a volunteer experience. As a Financial Literacy Council Chair in the local Wells Fargo network, she organized bilingual volunteers to assist and teach at a financial literacy resource session for an AVANCE resources course. After a site visit to see AVANCE in action, Amber was wholeheartedly committed to helping this organization achieve and succeed.
Applying and receiving the Volunteer Service Leave Program was the next step in deepening her commitment and strengthening her skill set to assist AVANCE’s continued growth. As a recipient, she was given an insider’s glimpse into the intricacies of a nonprofit, and through this fresh lens, she gleaned new insights on how to effectively contribute to AVANCE from the inside out.
“We’re at a pivotal time in our organization where we have the chance for enhanced stabilization and presence,” she remarked in contemplating AVANCE-Austin’s progress. “This comes from having a permanent facility of our own that will allow us to realize our goal of doubling the number of families we serve.”
During her summer session, she’s dedicated her energy and time in helping AVANCE reach this goal of serving more families by diversifying fundraising avenues, assisting with capacity building and working closely on development projects. Her representation of our Austin chapter at a national board and chapters meeting in Dallas shined as one of the summer’s highlights.
“It was just so grounding and uplifting to meet other board members that are equally as passionate about AVANCE as I am and brainstorm and share best practices and successes.”
As Amber returns to Wells Fargo, she leaves with these types of experiences that invigorate her wholehearted commitment to advance AVANCE’s mission and a heightened awareness on how to do exactly just that.