SPSFNWA volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Whether it be giving monetarily, giving time or offering expertise, they are the hands and feet of the organization that help make our mission possible. In fact, our recipients and alumni are some of our most impactful volunteers. They have their own stories and can share, firsthand, how SPSFNWA has been a life changing experience for them.
For many years members of the Alumni Network have been attending the annual SPSFNWA Empower Summit and participating in the alumni panel. The alumni panel is one of the most powerful sessions of the entire day. Recipients are able to learn from these remarkable and knowledgeable alumni members. The recipients hear about the struggles the alumni had as a single parent working and attending school, and they express to current recipients that they are not alone on this journey. During the session, often there is laughter, and at times tears, but the recipients walk away knowing they are not alone and that there is a family here at SPSFNWA for them.
Over the last several decades, Northwest Arkansas’ population has skyrocketed, and the region has become increasingly diverse. Between 1990 and 2010, the region’s racially and ethnically diverse populations increased from less than 5% in 1990 to nearly 24% in 2010. SPSFNWA recipients and applicants reflect this growing diversity. To help reach more single parents in our community from different ethnic backgrounds, we connect with other nonprofit organizations. We also utilize one of the best resources we have, our current recipients and alumni. In this past month, we have had three recipients attend culturally diverse events with our staff as a way to better connect with the event attendees. The results have been amazing! Our recipients and alumni are always looking for ways that they can give back to the organization that has provided them with so much. So often we hear, the scholarships they receive are needed to succeed in getting their education, but it is the support from the organization that truly makes a difference!