The Power of Giving Back

Jean Cecil Frick • September 10, 2021

In 2012, I left a thriving career in Washington, DC to move back to my native state of South Carolina. Apart from family and friends, a driving factor in my decision to move back to South Carolina was my desire to be able to make an impact in my community.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that Columbia has been my home for nearly a decade. When I first moved to Columbia, I had a handful of personal relationships, but very few professional relationships. Nevertheless, I was determined to hit the ground running and get involved.

I quickly sought out individuals and organizations I aligned with to see how I could be engaged in the community outside of my job. My involvement with local organizations allowed me to not only build my network in Columbia but also strengthen my skill sets. One organization gave me public speaking opportunities while another organization helped me learn patience as I aided an elementary student with reading. Each experience helping me grow as an individual, both personally and professionally.

Due to my steady commitment to one organization, in particular, I’m proud to share that I am chairing the Board of Directors of the Columbia Chamber this year. The Chamber matches my personal interests of wanting to make a difference for my community while also complimenting my professional interest in helping businesses succeed. As I look back on my decision to move back to South Carolina to try to make a difference, I’m beyond grateful for the friends and mentors who have encouraged and guided me along the way allowing me the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

So, my plea to you is to get involved in your local community! Some people choose to get involved through elected office, while others give back through their churches. Whatever your outlet, get in the arena and you will realize you get way more out of it than you give.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to engage:

  • Are you passionate about the organization?
  • Can you commit time to the organization?
  • What talent or attribute could you bring to the organization?

My friends in development have taught me that giving back is not just about providing financial resources, it’s more about sharing your time and your talent. I hope you will join me in giving back to your community!

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