The Joy of Volunteering
NCSM is an organization made up of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that each and every learner experiences mathematics in a meaningful way. A 2017 study titled, “Doing Good is Good for You” reported on the positive effects of volunteering. Volunteers reported that donating their time and service:
- Made them feel physically healthier
- Improved their mood
- Lowered stress level
- Improved self-esteem
One of my favorite quotes from the summary is, “Volunteering is a relationship that brings people together and can profoundly change the way we think about ourselves and others.” I couldn’t agree more! NCSM came into my life when I was a new leader and I am who I am today because of the relationships that have been developed through volunteering for the organization.
As I write my first blog as NCSM President, I want to first acknowledge all of the volunteers that bring mathematics leaders together to change the way we lead and impact the lives of students. I am proud to serve the other volunteers on the board and the many members of the organization that give their time and expertise to change the mathematical journey for our students.
Today, I also want to honor one of those volunteers who has impacted my life and the lives of those she served.
Kim Hughes, the NCSM state team leader from Arkansas, lost her long battle with cancer this past week. She was the NCSM state team leader for the past 7 years and she volunteered at several annual conferences. Even in the thick of her battle, she brought her daughter with her the NCSM 50th Annual Conference in Washington D.C. because her session was accepted and she really wanted to share her story. She even stuffed bags on Sunday before the conference.
On top of volunteering for NCSM, she regularly volunteered for her state organization as President and she also volunteered for AAML, an affiliate of NCSM.
Her energy and enthusiasm exemplified the spirit of volunteerism and she will be deeply missed.
As the NCSM board moves forward this year, we will continue the legacy of volunteerism and bring together leaders from across the world to improve mathematics leadership and ultimately, impact the lives of students.