Your gift to Campbell University is helping my kindergartner. No, really. Because you made a gift to support students at Campbell, my 5-year-old daughter is going to have a great kindergarten year, despite having to start virtually.
How do I know she is going to have a great kindergarten year? Because she has a Campbell graduate for her teacher.
But what did you have to do with it?
Let me explain…
Five years ago, my husband and I returned to Campbell as employees after graduating in 2004. When I began in the role of director of annual giving, one of my major responsibilities was overseeing our student call team.
Being a part of our call team is one of the best jobs on campus. We hire students to call our alumni and have conversations about what is happening at Campbell and to ask for their financial support. It’s a good on-campus job where the students gain valuable work experience. It’s also a tough job for sure as students must get out of their comfort zone and ask complete strangers for money.
While I continue to be surprised and grateful at their willingness to do this job, what I like most about call team is the interactions I have with the students we hire. It’s this involvement with the call team that shows me how amazing Campbell students are.
And it is call team where I met and hired a student named Ashlyn Johnson.
Ashlyn was a sophomore education major when she was hired as a caller. She was a hard worker and a successful caller in her first year on the team. Also, everyone liked her. She was friendly, always polite, and smiled often. With all those traits combined, it was not surprising that she was promoted to the call team leader position (which means she supervised callers during shifts) during her senior year. Ashlyn consistently received positive feedback about her leadership from callers.
Ashlyn graduated from Campbell in May 2019. She began her first year of teaching kindergarten the next fall at Buies Creek Elementary School, which is right across the street from Campbell! I was very excited for Ashlyn. And, I also realized then that my younger daughter, who would be starting kindergarten the next year, could have Ashlyn for her teacher! I started crossing my fingers in hopes that would be the case.
But I digress. What does this have to do with you?
As the director of annual giving, I ask alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the university to make a philanthropic gift every year to support Campbell students. Part of my job is communicating why giving to Campbell is important. One thing I like to say is that when you make a gift to Campbell, you are not only impacting the students, but that those students will graduate and go out to serve in their communities, in turn influencing and impacting the lives of others.
While I fully believe this, I never thought about a Campbell graduate having such a personal impact on my life until now.
Now, my kindergartner has to start her first year of school amid a pandemic. What this means for her is that she is beginning school virtually on an iPad. She’s never used an iPad, and she can’t even read yet! However, I know that her teacher, Ashlyn (Miss Johnson to me now), is well prepared to take on teaching my daughter.
Miss Johnson is a Campbell graduate. She received a quality education that gave her real world experiences in and out of the classroom, all while managing a demanding and rewarding on-campus job. She was able to have this experience and become a prepared leader because donors like you make gifts to Campbell. These gifts allow us to provide all kinds of resources and experiences for our students so that when they graduate, they are ready to impact the lives of others.
Kindergarten is starting
At the beginning of the school year, Ashlyn led a virtual parent-teacher meet and greet. Sitting there, watching Miss Johnson “doing” her profession, doing what she set out to do when she became an education major, and doing it within this chaotic time of 2020, I couldn’t help but beam with pride. It was after the meeting that I realized: this is what it means. This is was it means when I say your gift will impact students by leading them to graduation and in turn, those Campbell graduates will go out and impact others.
Your gift is positively impacting my kindergartner, my family, and my life through Miss Johnson. And so, I just want to say to you, thank you!
P.S. If you get a call from 910-893-1440, it’s a Campbell student call team member so please answer! Have a conversation with the student, no matter what. They really are awesome and they want to talk to you!