Finding My Dream Job

By the time I moved from DC to Richmond in 2010, I knew I wanted to make this region my home and invest my time and energy in making it a better place for all who live here.  I was lucky to start my Richmond career with Genworth, a company with a strong commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism. In my Finance role, I volunteered with co-workers regularly with a number of organizations, so when a role managing the company’s volunteer program opened, it seemed like an even better way to give back to the Richmond region.

That role is what led me to participate in LMR, where I met 60 other people with different experiences, perspectives and ideas, but a common goal to make the region better. Learning with my class and working with my smaller project team that year helped me realize I wanted to spend my volunteer time in a more focused manner, where I could better know and help organizations that address the needs I’m most passionate about—namely, housing stability and youth empowerment.

As I researched organizations that were driving change in those areas, I learned about Peter Paul Development Center and began mentoring a student there in 2015. I spent an hour there weekly, catching up on schoolwork, friendships, and life—and we continue that relationship today. Investing in that mentorship with her has been the most rewarding volunteer experience I have ever had, although I no longer consider it volunteering.

Through that one-hour-a-week commitment, I was able to learn much more about Peter Paul’s work and see it in action. They do far more than educate students—their programming also uplifts the families in the community, empowering them and the entire East End community to use their voices to be advocates for their interests and their neighborhood. When a role at Peter Paul opened for a Director of Finance and Human Resources, I knew I had to give it a shot. It combined my Finance education and experience with the relationship building skills I learned at Genworth and my passion for this organization. It was my dream job. I started in the role in November 2019—and I have truly enjoyed becoming a part of the excellent team at Peter Paul.

Without LMR, I would not have had the access and opportunity to those 60 different experiences, perspectives and ideas that my classmates shared; I would not have learned about the region’s deep history and how it impacts the present inequities we continue to see today; and I would not have been inspired to focus my volunteerism for impact, leading me to Peter Paul. I am fortunate to have been part of the Class of 2015 (the best class EVER!), eager to do my part in addressing those inequities, and excited to make a difference with Peter Paul.

Carolyn Champion
LMR Class of 2015
Director of Finance and Human Resources
Peter Paul RVA