Catching up: What I’ve been doing with Mpact

I’m still active in Mpact Memphis, the organization of 21-40 year olds interested in leadership, promoting the city, politics, community service and networking. Probably more active than ever, in fact.

I got elected to an At-large position on the Board of Directors, which means I get to attend an additional 8 meetings a year. Yay, more meetings! Seriously, though, I’m thrilled that the premier young-leadership group in this town thought enough of me to put me on the board. My term runs through the end of 2005.

At the beginning of March, I coordinated a Community Involvement event called Feast for Friends. Mpact members volunteered at a biweekly dinner put on by Friends For Life. The purpose is to invite all in the Memphis community who are affected by HIV/AIDS – those who have the virus, caretakers, case workers. They all come together and have a chance to talk and get to know each other, while volunteers serve them dinner.

The Feast was about as easy an event to coordinate as you could ask for. 11 Mpact members showed up, as well as a couple of people from Hands On Memphis. We served them dinner, refilled their tea and bussed the tables. We also got to grab some dinner ourselves, grab an empty seat at one of the tables and get to know the dinner guests.

The other big event I worked on was called Memphis Really NETworks. Its purpose was to teach college students how to network and tap into the hidden job market. Since I had a lot of experience with college students, they put me in charge of content for the event. For a few weeks I was freaking out! If this event sucked, it would be MY FAULT!!! Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and I learned a valuable lesson – assemble a great team, and your job is easy. A professional business coach volunteered to talk about the ABCs of networking, and the guy who created Mpact’s awesome welcome program offered to emcee.

The event came off without a hitch. It was on a Sunday evening at the Pink Palace, with free refreshments. It was a beautiful 81-degree day. I was the only one who wore shorts.

Since then I have learned that three IT students got internships as a result of the open networking part of the event, and a former calculus student of mine ended up getting a financial analyst position at AutoZone. Success! We made a difference in people’s lives. That makes me feel great.

My next project will be to serve as a Memphis Orientation Leader (MOL), where we’ll take corporate interns in town for the summer under our wing and show them the city. Will let you know how that works out.