03 Nov Volunteering for CAFAA: Trick or a Treat?
Being asked to volunteer may often seem like a trick to get you to do the job that no one else has signed up for, or for many of us the phrase “congratulations, you’re being voluntold” is all too familiar. You might think, sure it is a way for me to get involved, and it is also a way for me to spend countless hours of my weekend planning, organizing and sometimes even hot-gluing numerous handmade boutonnieres. Those are all very true sentiments and concerns to have. Trust me, my fingers still flinch at the sight of a hot glue gun. However, there are things that you will take away from the experience that are far greater than the time and energy you will exhaust while volunteering.
When your event is completed, or when your term as Treasurer concludes the sense of pride and accomplishment is overwhelmingly euphoric, reminiscing about the things that you and your colleagues accomplished is a great way to wash away the concerns you may have had about contributing your time and energy. However, the greatest thing you will receive from volunteering is the bonds that you will create with your colleagues. I have been volunteering with CAFAA for the last four years, and the friendships and mentors that I have gained and worked alongside with have contributed more to my personal and professional life than I ever thought possible.
As many of you know Colorado hosted the RMASFAA Conference earlier this month, and it was a great pleasure to have been a part of the committee that planned this event. To hear the sentiments from attendees about how great the conference was and how much they enjoyed the various aspects was tremendous. It was so great to reconnect with friends from various states and to hear about their personal and professional endeavors and accomplishments. It was also very exciting to meet many new individuals and to hear their eagerness to get involved in their various state organizations. Many of those individuals expressed hesitation about getting involved because they were not sure where to start or self-doubt about what they could contribute. Unfortunately, there is no one answer that is correct for everyone that I could share; just know that if you do not try, you will never know.
If you are looking for a way to get involved with CAFAA you can email the various Board Members via the CAFAA Website. My personal volunteer journey will continue as the Conference Chair for the upcoming CAFAA Conference that takes place May 4th-6th in Crested Butte. If you are interested in being part of the conference committee you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find a committee for you to get involved with. At first volunteering for CAFAA might seem like a trick to get you to fill a role that has been historically difficult to find volunteers for, or maybe it is a trick to encourage you to get involved and to meet new people. However, in the end it is a treat to see how you grow personally and professionally, and the enduring friendships that you create are truly a reward of their own.
CAFAA Conference Chair
Assistant Director of Scholarships
Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Metropolitan State University of Denver