Name: Dana Norris
Organization: North County Volunteer Corps
Location: 1025 W. Ocean Ave., Lompoc
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
What is the mission of your organization?
The goal of the Volunteer Recruitment Program is to recruit businesses and individuals to volunteer their time and support local public schools in the programs and activities which school sites have identified as priority areas in need of volunteers.
What is your job title?
I’m a volunteer recruiter manager.
Would you describe your job?
My job is based on the Partners in Education program in Santa Barbara. We get requests from teachers for volunteers they need in their classrooms or guest speakers career days. Then I go out and find volunteers that match up with teacher requests.
How long have you had the job?
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For two years.
How did you get the job?
Four years ago I was laid off from my job. I was a travel agent for 20 years. When I was laid off, I thought, OK, I need to find something that I like to do that isn’t going to disappear jobwise. And I decided I would try early childhood education. I decided to go back to school. In school I was looking at want ads. AmeriCorps had a want ad and I applied. AmeriCorps has volunteers who go out into different communities in the United States. That’s how I got to North County Volunteers. Here I’m helping to get the volunteers that the schools need — help the children read, learn math, get tutored, things like that.
What do you like most about doing your job?
Getting the match up of volunteer and teacher is very gratifying. When I get a volunteer who says that they saw the ad in VolunteerMatch.org, I call a teacher who is so happy to get a volunteer. I put them together and there they are.
What do you find most challenging?
Finding the volunteers is most challenging. We need a lot of tutors during the day in the classrooms. And most people work, so I find it difficult to find people who have the free time. We don’t have as much difficulty getting people for the afterschool programs.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a Vandenberg Village Lion and that takes a lot of my spare time. When I have nothing that I have to do, I like to get a good book and kick back on the couch with my cat and read. I’ll read just about anything I can get my hands on. Mysteries are right up there at the top. I love to read history. My hero growing up was General Lafayette.
Is there anything you want to add?
Volunteering is important. You can volunteer just 10 hours a week and make a huge difference in a child’s life.
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