Mid-Twenties and Civically Engaged

By Lauren Crossett

Volunteering runs in my family. I think it may be genetic. For as long as I can remember both of my parents have been very active in the Central New York community so it was natural for me to do the same and now it has become standard practice for me.  My mother has chaired major fund raising campaigns for local non-profits and is always asking her colleagues to urge their company to donate to one fund or another.  My father supports smaller charities and is continually lobbying for workers’ rights.

When I returned to Syracuse after graduating from  Fordham University I wanted to connect with the community again.  My parents were continually inviting me to fundraisers and events that they had some connection to and I started to tag along. I always like to know what’s going on and what’s happening where I live. Shortly after moving home I became involved with 40 Below and it was a natural fit. Through my participation in that organization I have met and worked with so many  people that like me wanted to have a pulse on the city and affect positive change to keep talented people here and engaged.

From there my interest in community involvement only increased.  I joined the Junior League, I attended a few alumni association meetings for my high school, I helped my company support the Heart Association’s Heart Bash, and I also became involved with the Women’s Fund of CNY. I choose to participate when I know that a lot of people my age probably think it’s weird or don’t know how to go about it.  I feel lucky to know and continue to meet so many people that believe like me that it’s important to not just have a house somewhere but to be an active and engaged community member.   I like that I know people when I walk into a coffee shop or restaurant and also am aware of what they care about and what they are involved in.

The best part about the Women’s Fund is that we collectively ask the community to band together to support the local efforts of women at a grass roots level. We try and support as much as we can and do not focus on a single initiative, what a great way to hear about everything that is happening!


The Women's Fund of Central New York is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation.

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