August Volunteer of the Month: Mike Iverson

When Mike Iverson laughs, you can’t help but laugh, too. He is a giving person with a joy for life that is contagious.

A longtime supporter of New American Pathways, Mike has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011 (then RRISA). He is the current Treasurer and chair of the board’s Finance Committee. But this year, Mike found a way to be more directly involved with the new Americans served by the organization he helps govern. He decided to offer his expertise as a volunteer mentor through the Mentors for Vocational Pathways (MVP) volunteer service—a new volunteer opportunity since the merger of RRISA and Refugee Family Services last year.

A part of our Vocational Counseling services, MVPs are Metro Atlanta professionals who are matched one-to-one with highly skilled new Americans seeking to build their skills and improve their job prospects in fields such as graphic design, medicine and education.

As a financial professional of more than 20 years, Mike felt like this would be a unique way to use his business skills to give back to new Americans.  He was matched with Fidele, a client from Rwanda who had recently obtained a degree in finance and was ready to look for a job.

Mike knew firsthand how critical having a mentor could be—when he first entered his field, he benefitted from a mentor himself, who inspired him to give back to others. Since he’s been working with Fidele over the past few months, both men have enjoyed improvements in their lives.

Mike says that Fidele has helped him to gain new perspective, as Fidele has a larger world view and a real appreciation for opportunities in his new country. “MVP reminds me of what is most important in business,” Mike says. “Pay it forward by helping others succeed.”

Mike has helped Fidele to gain new contacts in the finance community and to learn some of the benefits social media can bring to his career. They are also constantly working to find new training opportunities to hone Fidele’s skills.

While Mike already had a close connection with New American Pathways, he says this program helped him truly connect to the heart of the work being done. He invites all professionals, especially those with the “heart of a teacher” to join him in the program: “You will gain more as both a professional and most of all as a person seeing how your generosity can make a difference in another person’s life.”

If you would like to learn more about the MVP program, please contact Vocational Counselor Melodie Rodgers here.

Read more about Mike on his company page at Trillium Financial.

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