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Volunteering is a Team Effort

Katie Markgraf, a recent Tulane University graduate, was an integral part of the volunteering community in New Orleans this past school year. She was a member of the leadership team for Outreach Tulane, a one day service event that sends approximately 1000 Tulane students across New Orleans to various community service locations. Katie believes volunteering is important because it helps a community accomplish everything they need to do since most cities do not have the budget to hire paid workers to maintain the community. She also thinks that volunteering helps individuals better understand their community and the various struggles of their neighbors. In addition to Outreach Tulane, Katie volunteered with Swim 4 Success, an organization which offered free swim lessons. Also, Katie was a member of the leadership team for Tulane’s MLK Day of Service.

In high school, Katie had a mentor who inspired her to volunteer. Her mentor took students to work on organic farms, build a school, etc. in rural Kentucky. His selfless volunteering endeavors encouraged Katie to continue her philanthropic activities in college. Katie strives to be a leader in volunteering because she loves to be as involved as possible. She says that it can be difficult being a leader in these organizations because she believes volunteering to be a team effort. To Katie, it is important to balance being a leader and a team player because both are vital to be a good volunteer.

Anyone with a leadership position in an organization whether it be a job or an extracurricular organization knows that it can be difficult to manage your time productively. Katie says that her responsibilities fluctuated from day to day and she needed to stay positive. She created mental and physical lists and prioritized her tasks. Especially in leadership positions, you need to know what you are able to take on because if you try to do too much, the entire team suffers the consequences. Katie recognizes that it is extremely important to know your strengths because, that way, you are able to help the most.

Katie graduated from Tulane University a year early and is going to graduate school this fall in London. Since she is moving to a new country, Katie does not know of her volunteering plans, but she is excited to discover all of the new opportunities London has to offer.