Finance for Millennials by Millennials

Giving Back to Your Community

Giving Back to Your Community

Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States, helps us explore the world of non-profits and how millennials can give back to their communities.

Ever want to get involved in your community but didn’t know where to begin? Check out this episode to learn what you can do as a millennial to make a difference.

Want to learn more about Volunteers of America? Join Paul and John at the Power of One Breakfast on October 11, 2017. Sign up at

Giving Back to Your Community:

  • Jennifer explains how she became involved in service work in high school and why it’s so important to her.
  • We learn Jennifer’s path from direct service work as a counselor to becoming President and CEO of Volunteers of America.
  • Volunteers of America (founded in 1896) is one of the most diverse service organizations in a region. It covers five states and has more than 600 employees.
    • Helping military families, HIV, addiction, and more!
  • Jennifer tells us what has made her stay with Volunteers of America for over a decade!
  • Jennifer shares the heartbreaking story of how easy it is for a young professional to become addicted to prescription drugs.
    • If you, or someone you know, has an addiction, you can seek help directly with Volunteers of America.
  • She also shares the story of a young man who grew up in a Volunteers of America homeless shelter and went on to become extremely successful.
  • Volunteers of America specifically makes it a point to add millennials to their Board of Directors, and even added it to their strategic plan.
    • We also learn other ways millennials can become involved in nonprofits.
    • If you feel like you can’t make a financial gift right now, never forget the impact your time and talent can have on a nonprofit.
    • Volunteers of America has a ton of great programs that allow millennials to get involved, learn more at
  • If you’re interested in leading a nonprofit, Jennifer suggests finding a mentor and reaching out (the worst they can say is no).

Last call questions and answers:

  • Best career advice:
    • Don’t be bashful, don’t hold back, and don’t be afraid of what people will think if you’re assertive. “Lean In
  • What advice would your 60-year-old self give you today?
    • You’re not evaluated by your career success, but your success as a partner and a parent. Don’t sacrifice family for work.
  • Best thing spent money on the past 6 months:
    • A recent Alaskan cruise allowed Jennifer to disconnect from the world and relax.
  • Financial vice:
  • Financial advice:
    • Save early for retirement. Nobody has ever regretted saving early for retirement.
  • What media do you recommend:

Special shoutouts and show notes:

Enjoyed this episode? Check out our discussion with another nonprofit leader, Ann Marie Kelly.

Have any topics you want to be covered or amazing people you’d like us to interview? Let us know! You can email us at or You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Please be sure to subscribe to our weekly mailing list at

More about Jennifer:

Louisville, Kentucky native, Jennifer Hancock is the President and CEO of Volunteers of America of Mid-States. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Kentucky, where she developed the foundation for her career dedicated to social justice and serving those who most need our community’s support and advocacy. She has done that in multiple capacities over the past 20 years including the past ten years with Volunteers of America Mid-States.  Jennifer also operates a private practice in mental health counseling services and is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. In addition to all of this, Jennifer gives her time as a board and committee member to Kentucky Children’s Justice Act Task Force, State of Kentucky Corrections Commission, The Leadership Louisville Center, Community Shield, and as an Advisory Council Member of Young Professionals Association of Louisville.

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