In honor of National Volunteer Week, April 17-23, United Way of Northeast Florida is highlighting outstanding community volunteers dedicated to making a difference all year long.
In all of his volunteer efforts with United Way of Northeast Florida, our partners and other community organizations, Brandon Mack, director of partnerships and community outreach for Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and chair of the Guide Right Leadership and Development Program of the Jacksonville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, leads with thoughtfulness, caring, and compassion.
In his role as campaign coordinator for DCPS’s United Way campaign, he exceeded fundraising goals through his initiative and ingenuity, which provided key financial support for the essential services United Way provides to individuals across Northeast Florida. Furthermore, his passion for cultivating the success of students of color, and especially African-American male students, supports United Way’s goal of building an equitable community for all. Through his collective volunteerism, Brandon provides both direct and systemic change to the lives of underserved students across Northeast Florida, contributing powerfully to United Way’s vision of creating a community of opportunity.
Here’s what Brandon has to say about being a Northeast Florida Changemaker:
I was first inspired to give back in my childhood home. My mother and father will literally give someone their last if they needed it, and they definitely raised me to be that same kind of person. I was further inspired during high school back in South Carolina where I began to truly realize the amount of time and dedication the advisor of the Kappa Leadership Development League mentoring program was investing into the growth and development of young men, including myself. Everything came full circle several years ago, and I now serve as the director of that mentoring program here in Jacksonville.
Personally, the most rewarding aspect of the mentoring I do is seeing the young men I mentor grow into successful young adults who are: completing college, pursuing entrepreneurship, serving our country in the military, working within their respective career fields, and even building families.
As a society, we can’t continue to look at communities that are overlooked and under-resourced and ask them to be just as successful as communities with overflowing resources. I believe that if I am as invested into the idea of seeing all communities thrive as I say I am, then I need to put my time, energy, and resources into making that a reality.
First of all, I believe that there can never be enough good. I also think it’s important to amplify those stories of people doing good because ultimately that encourages others to do the same, if not more. People are often critical of those who share the good they do, but the reality is it serves as a reminder that good does exist in the world and that we should all be doing more of it to make the world a better place.
Because change doesn’t happen alone, people like you are needed now more than ever to uplift the most vulnerable in our community. You can find a variety of community service projects at unitedwaynefl.org/volunteer.