VAN Spotlight: Carol Ryan, Zeno

Carol Ryan April 2012

Describe the mission, programs and services of your organization:

Mission:  Zeno is a non-profit organization with a mission to build a sustainable math culture in elementary school communities.

Vision:  Zeno envisions elementary school communities across the US where every child can succeed in math and experience the infinite possibilities of what math can do.

 How does your organization engage volunteers?

Volunteers help Zeno advance our mission to build sustainable math culture in elementary school communities in a variety of ways – from playing math games with kids at events to assisting at our fundraisers.

 How did you come into the field of volunteer engagement?

I was interested in learning how to engage supporters of our program using their time and talent. I have stayed in volunteer engagement because I believe everyone has something to give to make our community a better place. Engaging community members in meaningful ways makes our lives richer, our communities healthier and our world more connected.

 What are some of the successes and challenges you have had engaging volunteers?

Engaging volunteers is most successful when everyone involved—from the volunteers themselves to the staff they are assisting to the clients of the organization—are considered and contributing to the organization’s mission. Successes come when everyone agrees on what they are working to accomplish and they regularly reflect on how they are getting there, or what they are learning about the journey. Then when the inevitable challenges come, the agreed-to goals and outcomes can act as a compass for how to move forward, and to get to resolution.

 If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change and why?

There would be lots of acceptable, suitable places to take naps during the day;-)

 What is the most interesting item in your closet?

My collection of scarves


Be sure to join us for Wednesday’s Professional Gathering (held at KidsQuest Children’s Museum) where Carol and special guest Katharine Tylee will lead a discussion on the legal issues surrounding Volunteer Engagement.

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One Response to VAN Spotlight: Carol Ryan, Zeno

  1. Jennifer Teeler says:

    Carol – let’s start a nap revolution!

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