Who invested in you?
Was it a teacher that stayed after class to help you out with something you didn’t understand? Was it an elderly neighbor who watched you after school until your mom got home from work? Was it a scholarship you received to help you pay for college? Was it a mentor that helped you polish your résumé?
We all have people that made a difference in our life. For me, it was my parents who taught me, as a girl, that I could do whatever my twin brother could do. And the woman environmentalist I never met that set up a scholarship fund at the University of Minnesota as part of her estate that awarded scholarships to women studying in the sciences. And several of my managers that gave me stretch assignments so that I could learn and grow. And a consultant that mentored me and taught me it’s ok to say “I don’t know”.
I invest my time and financial resources in the University of Minnesota community because others invested in me. Some ways that I give back only take a few hours like volunteering to speak to a class or mentoring a student. Others are bigger time commitments like serving on the alumni board. Having received a scholarship from someone I didn’t know, inspires me to donate to a Humphrey School scholarship fund to support students with financial need and also set up a scholarship fund as part of my estate planning. The only thing I ask of those that I invest in, is that when it’s their turn, they give back to the next generation.
Think about those people that invested in you. How did they make you feel? Have you ever taken a moment say thank you or honor them by passing it on?