Each summer, we celebrate the winner of the Lindsey Knox Volunteer Superhero Award at our First Draft event. We are excited to announce that Molly Samuel is the 2017 recipient! She is pictured above with our VOXcast team. Read on as Molly shares about her work with the VOX teens.
How did you get connected to VOX?
I work at WABE with Jim Burress (former VOX staffer and current volunteer) and he spoke so highly of VOX, and then I met Susan and she invited me to come volunteer. It was just a one-time audio editing workshop at first, but then I kept coming back. [Molly soon signed up to be a VOX Investigates mentor, and then she took on the exciting role of mentoring our first ever VOXcast team of teens – pictured above! Check out the first episode of our podcast here.]
What is your favorite thing about VOX?
I love being at VOX. During the week, I’m coming from work and have been stressed out all day and have to drive through traffic to get there, or on the weekend I always wonder why I agreed to do this when I have to wake up so early. But whatever battle I have to fight to get there – as soon as I walk through the door and see the VOX space and all the teens and adult staff, my blood pressure immediately lowers and I remember that there’s no place I’d rather be. It makes me happy to be there, and I love the teens and I love the staff.
At the end of our Spring 2016 VOX Investigates project on teen dating violence, all of our volunteer mentors wrote letters to the mentors who will be here next semester. Below is Molly’s letter:
“Dear Future Mentor,
This is a long and tiring semester.
You sign up, and think, “Sure, just a few Saturdays, no problem!” But it turns into a big commitment. I woke up on Saturday mornings after a week of work, and was just like, “Noooo.”
But then once I dragged myself in, it was always fun and totally worth it.
Getting close to some of the teens has been unbelievably fun and rewarding. Seeing them work and grow and overcome challenges and be proud of themselves—and this sounds super-cheesy but I mean it—is a great experience.
It’s fun to be at VOX and hang out with everyone participating, and I’m super proud of what they accomplished.
So good luck! Enjoy! Don’t flake!”
Why is VOX important for teens?
I think finding your voice is so important. VOX is a place that’s all about encouraging what people think and believe in and are curious about and want to pursue and that is so validating. It’s powerful to have confidence in your voice and to feel supported in your ideas.
Why do you choose to support VOX?
VOX is where I funnel my energy and money and time. I believe in the mission, and it’s really fun – plus I get this extra cool factor from knowing teenagers!
What words would you use to describe VOX?
Empowering, necessary, exciting, goofy, creative
Molly, we are so thankful for everything you have done for VOX this past year and are grateful to have you as part of the VOX family!