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Challenge: WHO Are You?

Parent Volunteer Opportunities to Discover My Passion

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I used to have a small business that I ran from the garage back when my kids were still in elementary school. Business wasn’t going that great but I didn’t mind because I loved being a mom and enjoyed spending time with my children. I also felt the need to help the community, so I decided to volunteer for the school my kids were going to at the time. I would usually help out in the library or chaperon at a field trip. One time, I was asked to work on a marketing project for the school, which is when my whole life literally changed.

That project is how I discovered my true passion – marketing. At first, I thought about declining the offer since I always thought that marketing is too complicated. Honestly, I didn’t even put an effort into it when I started my business because I figured my products would speak for themselves. Well, it turns out that I was wrong, and that marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a business. It’s crazy to think that it has been just six years since that realization, and that I now have a successful career in marketing.

After I started volunteering at the school, I learned that it wasn’t going good for them. They didn’t have a high number of students and they were experiencing budget cuts. This lead to reduced curriculum offering and some teachers ultimately lost their job. Despite not knowing nearly anything about marketing at the time, I decided that I was going to help out because I wanted my children’s school to reduce their curriculum offering and stop firing good teachers.

What I realized was that the school wasn’t even trying to make an effort when it came to marketing. After all, they assigned the project to a parent who volunteers there. This made it clear that they didn’t really put in an effort to change the school’s image. Despite the fact that I knew it had a bad image and reputation, my kids were always happy and never got into any problems or complained. I figured out that they weren’t actually a bad school and that their image could be turned around.

Of course, I knew that I wouldn’t get support from the teachers and staff instantly, but if I could just show them how much of an impact this could have they would be convinced to listen to me. My first step to improving the school image was redesigning their website, as it’s the main source of information about the institution. This is best place to post unique things about the school and share activities, interesting stories, and student achievements.

Most people will do their research on public elementary schools online. If they don’t find enough relevant information online about the ones in their area, they may decide to enroll their kids into private school. Nevertheless, if they see an attractive and profession website filled with information about the school and its achievements, they’ll become interested.

For any interested parent who would come in for a tour of the school, I had a presentation prepared and created my own school folders with the logo and vital details, as well as statistics about the students and teachers. The idea was to spread word and make it seem like the school had improved in many ways, but the only thing that changed is how other parents in the area started looking at it.

I had photos of the school taken that presented the best of student experiences and I also became active on social media. For every achievement, I published a story on the website. I even started sharing testimonials from current and past parents that I knew. By using marketing to turn around the image of the school, I not only helped them acquire more students and be more active within the community but I also discovered a new passion as well.

To this day, I actively help the school, as well as other educational institutions, improve their image and get the word out about what they have to offer. If it were not for this volunteer opportunity at my kids school, I would have never even thought to have look into the complicated world of marketing. As with many things in life, change arises through necessity and I can honestly look back and say that I am very happy that I chose to volunteer my time to help the school.

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