Each fall at our Homecoming event, we honor the latest inductees into the VOX Hall of Fame. This year, we are excited to celebrate four members of the VOX community in this way, including Mary Hinkel! In addition to being a parent of a VOX alum, Mary has served as a Board member and a co-chair for our 2016 Homecoming event. She is pictured above on the left with VOX teens visiting Emory University during Take A Teen To Work Day in 2011. Read on to hear from Mary about her involvement with VOX.
How did you get involved with VOX?
My son attended the summer program when he was a teenager. He has always been interested in writing, so VOX’s summer program was a perfect opportunity for him to explore journalism. I thought it was amazing that he was able to work with reporters from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and to explore a possible future career path. I’ve always been grateful that our community had this resource for teens, so I agreed to serve on the board when that opportunity arose.
What’s your favorite memory from your time at VOX?
Participating in the numerous – and very creative – icebreakers before each board meeting and teen gathering.
Why is VOX important for teens?
I will always believe having an organization that encourages and empowers young people to communicate with each other and the community about issues relevant to their lives is vital.
Why is VOX important for the community?
What did we all want when we were teens? To be heard!
VOX is the only organization I know of that encourages and empowers a diverse group of teens from all around the metro area to be heard. VOX staff and volunteers work to support the uncensored, but articulate, expression of teens’ opinions and feelings within our community. The VOX staff and volunteers support the positive development of teens and empower teens to:
1) believe in themselves, 2) collaborate with other teens and adults, and 3) develop critical thinking and communication skills in the process. We are creating future community leaders through VOX.
What’s your hope for VOX’s future?
I hope VOX continues to strengthen and expand its programs so more teens benefit from opportunities to publish, speak and advocate on issues impacting their lives, their families and our community.
What three words would you use to describe VOX?
Empowering, Inspiring, Connecting