Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Pawenski

Jennifer Pawenski moved back to Dutchess County four years ago with the intention of getting involved in her community, but she had no idea to what extent. In that time she has become a recognized community leader. Besides participating in Young Leaders United she co-chairs the entire Hudson Valley Young Professionals Committee (HVYP), a group of more than 1400 young professionals who aim to learn, lead, grow personally and professionally, network effectively and give back to the community.
She recently galvanized the HYVPs to participate in the Middle Main Revitalization Project through Hudson River Housing during National Volunteer Week.
“It was a really great opportunity for the HVYPs to get together and revitalize Poughkeepsie; it was a great hands-on project to see first-hand what needs to be done.”
With the help of Young Leaders United and other community members, the HVYPs cleaned up more than 30 bags worth of garbage from the streets of Poughkeepsie.
Jennifer draws inspiration from her parents, two prominent business leaders who highlight the importance of taking an active role in the community as a key to professional and personal success. Jennifer is thrilled to have their support as she takes on a greater leadership role in her community.
Aside from her participation in the clean-up project, she has spearheaded toy drives, served meals at a food pantry and built houses with Habitat for Humanity. “Volunteerism is very important to me; I really believe in the mission of UWDOR. When we all unite for the common good, whether it be through donating, or giving an hour of our time, the results are tremendous.”
She plans to continue to get the HVYPs involved in community revitalization projects to make a lasting change –right here-in the local community. “Our goal with the HVYP is to keep young professionals and young talent in the area. They are important to the future of the Hudson Valley.  Taking an active and hands-on approach like this project will help us to achieve this goal.”
To learn more about volunteering go to volunteer.uwdor.org
 - By Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization