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National Volunteer Month: Meet Shelby

Posted on 4/28/2017

 NVM_Shelby Houston

Written by: Claire Brumback, Public Affairs Intern

We've had fun all month sharing employee stories about how they're bettering the communities in which they live, work and play. For our final volunteer highlight, meet Shelby Houston. Shelby is a Regulatory Analyst by day and a "college readiness coach" by night, volunteering her time with Starfish Initiative. Check out her volunteer profile below:

Job Title/Department: Regulatory Analyst, Resource Planning

Years at IPL/AES: 2

Organization you volunteer for: Starfish Initiative, which is a college readiness program serving economically disadvantaged high school students in Marion County. The program matches a college-educated mentor with a Starfish Scholar (high school student) to help walk them through high school and into college. Starfish currently serves over 300 students in Indianapolis.

What do you do at Starfish? "I am considered a 'college readiness coach.' One of our (Shelby's Starfish Scholar, Kaila) favorite things is to go to Starbucks, just like you would converse with a friend or coworker. It's not too much tutoring, but it's more self-confidence building and preparing them for college and basically just getting to know each other better."

How did you get involved? "I found out about them through the annual IndyVolved fair. I knew I wanted to do something, so I just jumped into it after I had an interview with them."

How long have you been a volunteer? 9  months

How often do you volunteer? "They encourage you to meet with your Starfish Scholar twice a month to build up your relationship. Sometimes I do more than that, like I'll go to her games and watch her play."

Favorite volunteer experience? "Back in January, they brought all the mentors and mentees together for a conference. You don't always get to meet with the other Starfish mentors and scholars. I loved that event because it gave us a way to be able to coordinate group events with others in the program."

What makes a good volunteer? "Someone has to be selfless and humble. I feel like some people volunteer as like a 'check the box' exercise, and I think your spirit when you volunteer is very important. Being selfless and humble helps you get the most of your volunteering."

Why do you continue to volunteer? "There is a deeper and stronger commitment with the Starfish Initiative. You can really feel the connection and see how much you are impacting your mentee."


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