Roanoke Valley Graduate Uses Her Degree to Make a Difference in Her Community
Sep 11, 2012
Amy Wilson is using the degree she earned at the Roanoke Valley Campus to do great things for Feeding America Southwest Virginia - a local food bank that collects food donations and distributes to pantries serving people in an area spanning 26 counties and 10 cities. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management and now she is working as a marketing and communications coordinator for the food bank. She is responsible for getting the word out about what the organization does and how vital it is to people in the Southwest Virginia region.
Amy’s job duties include maintaining relationships with the media, organizing press events, creating marketing materials, and writing a quarterly newsletter, which her supervisor, Vice President of Development Amy Milberger, praises her for. “Her newsletters are bringing in considerably more than we did historically,” she says. “We’re able to compare donations year over year for each mailing, and her last two newsletters were above the norm.”
Amy recently got the opportunity to accompany the organization’s president to the Executive Mansion in Richmond for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s reception recognizing food banks for their participation in the Legal Food Frenzy. She also recently appeared on a local television show to promote an upcoming campaign for the food bank. Click here to see her interview.
She feels honored to be able to participate in events such as these as part of her job but she stays humbled and focused on her reason for being there. “Meeting the Governor and being on TV, those are great things, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ever take that stuff for granted,” she says. “But to me it’s more humbling when I hear from clients in need and knowing we can do something about it … 120,000 people each month is what we feed, and to have a part in that is just incredible.”
Amy credits her education and experience at National College for helping her get where she is. As a student, she participated in the work-study program as an assistant to the director of research for the College as well as in President Longaker’s office, where she says she got valuable experience. She enrolled in National right out of high school and says it was National’s small class sizes, the quality of the business program, and the encouragement of people such as her father (also a National graduate) and her admissions representative Bunny Hancock that helped her know it was the right college for her.
Upon her graduation, Amy went to work for a financial investment firm, first as the executive assistant to the branch manager and then as marketing coordinator. “I felt like my bachelor’s degree, because it was in business management, opened a lot of doors for me. It provided me the fundamentals to go into any corporation,” Amy says. She stayed with the financial firm for over 10 years until she organized a trip to Feeding America for a company volunteer day and saw a job ad posted on the wall. She had a heart for service and a passion for the work Feeding America was doing, so she knew she would be a good fit for this job.
Ms. Milberger agrees that Amy was the right choice. “She’s made a huge impact in our awareness, in donor participation and volunteer participation, donations, great media relationships,” Amy explained. “Right off the bat, she was able to build those connections in a short amount of time.”
And Amy is positive this work is what she is meant to be doing. “It’s important for me to do something I love—and make a difference,” she says. “I want to help people understand that hunger does have a solution. And by giving, they are giving hope to someone.”
Graduate Amy Wilson is pictured in the above photo, on the right with her supervisor Amy Milberger at Feeding America Southwest Virginia. In the bottom photo, Amy is pictured with Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell (left) and Attorney General Ken Cuccineli (right) at the 2012 Legal Food Frenzy Reception held at the Governor’s Executive Mansion, Richmond, VA.
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Business: Business Administration Management - Bachelor's Degree (BBAMG)