ELU Member Spotlight: Sidney Purnell

A lot of my community work has stemmed from my involvement with United Way. In 2018, I was fortunate to be chosen as a Loaned Campaign Specialist (LCS) for the United Way campaign. Along with an in depth look at Berks County, and the various types of organizations committed to our community’s wellness, the LCS experience also connected me with Emerging Leaders United (ELU) and Ready.Set.READ! teams. Prior to this year, I’ve also volunteered as a tutor for Ready.Set.Read!, I’m hoping to be able to return to tutoring for the coming school year. In 2020, I also completed Leadership Berks (LB), and as a part of the LB program participants were required to serve on a non-profit board or committee and I was lucky enough to be accepted to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berks County.

My involvement with ELU has helped me build the confidence needed to lead others and further develop professional skillsets. It has also provided me with the opportunity to organize and lead various activities, including our ongoing trail cleanups at Nolde Forest. Because of my role with ELU as the Cabinet Vice Chair, I’ve become more comfortable taking on new activities and leadership roles in support of my community. I recently chaired the annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser and proudly participate on the buildings and grounds committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Through my experiences I have learned that volunteer leadership is one of the most hands-on ways you can support your community. It makes a direct impact while also furthering your own development and growth as a leader. It’s one of the best ways to build a meaningful network for yourself and the people you work and volunteer with. We’re all members of the Berks County community, and when you’re part of a community you want to do your part to make it the best it can be for everyone involved. ELU makes it easy to be a part of the community and to create a positive impact on Berks County. My advice to ELU members who wish to expand their community involvement is to sign up for as many ELU events as you can! The ELU team provides an excellent and eclectic selection of volunteer and professional development opportunities which are all great ways to learn about Berks County and the various organizations available to become involved with.