by Denisse Martinez-Sierra, Account Associate, Texas Tower PR
One of the participants in United Way’s Hands on Central Texas Volunteer Project Leader program is Victoria Daughtrey, a passionate public relations student at The University of Texas at Austin, who says philanthropy is how she finds fulfillment in life. The Volunteer Project Leader program trained volunteers to engage the community and to be leaders to create change.
United Way approached Theatre Action Project to be a participant in this program. TAP recruited, trained new “VPLs”, including Victoria and engaged them in several TAP projects. The program also encouraged volunteers to work with other community programs. After attending training at the TAP offices, Victoria, along with other VPLs, participated in a few brainstorming sessions, which ultimately led to wonderful events for the TAP kids.
As a recipient of a $250 mini grant from Hands on Central Texas, Victoria now had the means to support her own project. Being a curious and adventurous person, she chose to do something she had never done before – paint a mural at Barrington Elementary School in North Austin.
“We just asked the 5th graders to submit drawings and then took the winning drawings and made a big mural out of all of them,” said Victoria. “The student council came and we painted the mural together. It was a great experience and the kids loved it.”
Equipped with the money she was awarded, the experience and contacts she gained from being the philanthropy chair for the Texas Baseball Diamond Crew, and the designs of the children, Victoria was able to create this masterpiece.
“I cannot imagine myself doing anything else, especially with this experience that the VPL program gave me,” Victoria said. “I know this is what I want to do with my life.” She is currently in the process of joining the Peace Corps.