Name: Ginny Gronwoldt
Current employer or place of business: iQ Credit Union
Organization(s) I volunteer with: Evergreen School District Foundation (ESDF), Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF), East Vancouver Business Association (EVBA) golf committee, York Elementary PTA, Leadership Clark County, Junior Achievement and the Police Activities League of Vancouver.
How I got involved: The first volunteer work I got involved with was through the March of Dimes, Oregon Chapter. After having a premature baby, I got involved trying to raise awareness and money to benefit research and medical assistance for babies born prematurely. After my oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD, my focus shifted to becoming an advocate for him and to ensure that I was providing him with the best quality education and services available. As a mother, it is my job to advocate for my children. This passion grew into a much larger focus and I began working to advocate for all children within our community through many other educational programs I am involved with.
Why I give back: I give back to my community because it is the right thing to do. I want to set an example for my children and teach them that being an active and supportive member of their community is an essential part of our core family values.
Proudest moment as a volunteer: Over the years of volunteering, I have had many proud moments. One of the most memorable moments was in my early volunteering days when I was mentoring 5th grade girls with Young Women In Action. As a young girl, growing up in poverty and spending many years in the foster system, I found myself lost and scared of what my future might hold. To be able to share my experiences and to show these young and impressionable girls that they can do anything they set their minds to was priceless. Sharing with them how I pushed myself and didn’t’ let anything stand in the way of my success, I’ll never forget seeing the light shine in their eyes when they realize that they were not destined to continue the cycle, and that there was great hope for them to be successful and strong women. If I can inspire just one young girl to reach for the stars and to never give up, it is all worth it.
What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? Education is my passion and has been for quite some time. Whether it is teaching money management and community classes for Junior Achievement, mentoring middle school students or raising funds and awareness for needs within our school systems, my involvement and passion always comes back to the bright minds of the young people in our community.
Just for fun: What are your hidden talents? I can change a garbage disposal all by myself.
“Paying it Forward: Volunteer Businessperson of the Week” is sponsored by Pacific Continental Bank.