Each fall at VOX ATL’s Homecoming event, we celebrate the latest inductees into the VOX Hall of Fame. This year we are excited to celebrate VOX Board member and long-time volunteer Scott Woelfel. He is pictured above with fellow Board members Mack Walker and Chris Jordan outside our podcast studio. Read on to learn about Scott’s work with VOX!
How did you get involved with VOX?
Around 1995 or so, a friend and co-worker who knew Rachel had heard about what she had started with VOX. He introduced me to her because he thought I would be interested due to the journalism connection. I was! I did one or two small mentoring engagements, then Rachel had the idea of trying to get some teens into the 1996 Olympics as reporters using CNN.com credentials (I was the editor in chief of CNN.com at the time.) We were able to make that happen and the result was so good that it kept me thinking of and working with VOX from that point forward.
What’s a favorite memory from your time at VOX?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I would say it was at the “Let’s Talk About Race” teen-led dialogue held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in December 2016. Trump had just won and there was a lot of conversation concerning what this meant for the teens’ futures and how they were viewing a moment where many thought they would see the first female president and instead they found someone in office who was very much the opposite of that ideal. The knowledge and passion with which the teens spoke about their hopes and fears was so impressive. It helped me deal with my own feelings about the election and gave me hope that had been in short supply at that time.
Why is VOX important for the Atlanta community?
Everyone in business and life seem overly occupied with what the future holds, what trends they might capitalize on, and how we might be living in the future. The ironic thing is that we have the people among us who are going to determine much of that and we often never think to ask them about what it is they plan to do with the world. That’s what VOX does so well. It helps the teens give shape to their dreams and ideas, then lays them out so that anyone can see and interact with them. It’s almost like a time machine, giving you a chance to peer into the future and see who will be leading the way.
What’s your hope for VOX’s future?
That the teens find that in addition to the dialogue they have established with each other, they open up more lines of communication to the rest of the community. Adults have so much to learn and too often they only learn it, if they learn at all, from their own children. The entire community needs to hear from teens, particularly those who do not look or think like they do, and use their experience to help influence our plans and ideas for the entire community.
What 3 words would you use to describe VOX?
Real, vibrant, now
Join us at VOX Homecoming on Saturday, October 19 as we celebrate Scott and all our Homecoming Royalty! Tickets include dinner, drinks, dancing, silent auction and all the fun. If you can’t be there, sponsor a ticket for a VOX teen to attend!