VAN Spotlight: Nanci Wehr, LINKS – Lake Washington School District


Nanci Wehr, LINKS Program Coordinator

Nanci Wehr, LINKS Program Coordinator

Describe the mission, programs and services of your organization:

LINKS mission is: “To engage community volunteers to ensure students in Lake Washington School District have the resources they need to achieve academic and personal success now and in the future.”

LINKS programs include*: Academic Mentors, Lunch Buddies, Tutors and Classroom Helpers

How does your organization engage volunteers?

LINKS is a school based program that matches community volunteers with schools. Volunteers help fill the gaps in our classrooms by sharing their time in one or more of the four strands mentioned above. Each year the requests for volunteers grows.

How did you come into the field of volunteer engagement?

Roughly 8-9 years ago it became obvious to a group of concerned parents that there were discrepancies in the number of parent volunteers in schools. While some schools had more than enough volunteers, others had very few. LINKS was created to help fill the volunteer gaps by engaging community members in schools. After a 2-3 years of program development, LINKS became an official program of Lake Washington School District. The program relies on community volunteers to help meet the growing academic and social needs in our schools.

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

Successes: Academic and social mentors have proven to be quite successful. It’s rewarding to see these matches produce students who’s self-esteem and outlook on their education becomes more positive. Success is when they leave a match and are able to carry on with confidence and personal pride.

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

Less violence and more peaceful resolutions.

What is the most interesting item in your closet?

A four foot stuffed Snoopy Santa

A LINKS Volunteer hard at work!

A LINKS Volunteer hard at work!

Be sure to join us at tomorrow’s VAN Professional Gathering, where Nanci will lead us in a discussion about Methods for Recruiting and Engaging Volunteers!

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One Response to VAN Spotlight: Nanci Wehr, LINKS – Lake Washington School District

  1. I just wanted to thank Nanci for hosting a great seminar yesterday at Lake Washington School District. After a few very busy months (which required missing VAN meetings), I felt like this meeting was a gift. The collaboration amongst other professionals in the field, the honestly exhibited by people on what they do/don’t do/should do; and the willingness to help other Volunteer Managers solve pressing problems was just so refreshing.

    One other thing that made me smile when leaving the meeting— I know many of us have walked into meetings or training sessions and have felt very uncomfortable when no one really greets or welcomes us. I had to laugh as VAN meetings feel to me like happy sushi restaurants, where the entire staff greets every single newcomer with a smile, greeting or hug. It must be a Volunteer Manager thing.

    Looking forward to the next one already…..

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