Noelle Griffiths is Great Rivers United Way’s new Community Initiatives Associate. Noelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Organizational and Professional Communication and comes to GRUW after a year of serving in an educational AmeriCorps program called City Year, based in Little Rock, Arkansas. With City Year, Noelle coordinated parent and community engagement programs in a public high school and used data based methods to transform off-track high school students educationally, socially, and emotionally, all in effort to close widening achievement and implementation gaps. Additionally, she has experience in research, public speaking, and fundraising, all thanks to previous opportunities at UW-La Crosse and the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.
Noelle’s responsibilities at GRUW include working with community members as the coordinator for the Early Childhood Collaborative, Read to Success, and the COMPASS NOW 2018 assessment of the Great Rivers Region. She is excited to support community volunteers and impact our region’s needs and vulnerable populations through her work with United Way.
15 Questions for Noelle
- What are you most excited about in your new position? I am excited to continue diving into the programs I coordinate. I am looking forward to connecting with the community members I will work alongside, as well as the populations we serve at Great Rivers United Way.
- Favorite color? Turquoise
- What three adjectives best describe you? Communicative, empathetic, and strong-willed
- Least favorite household chore? Cleaning the counters, multiple times per day
- Favorite movie? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Favorite memory? Serving with AmeriCorps in Little Rock. I missed my loved ones, and my 9th graders definitely gave me a run for my money (I do adore them!), but witnessing and fighting educational disparities and learning from teammates and students were invaluable opportunities. I am stronger because of every hurdle I climbed while there.
- Favorite recreational activity(ies)? Snowboarding and boating on the Mississippi.
- Genre of music? Indie and folk.
- Most likely to order on a menu? Cheese dip. I developed an obsession while living and working in Little Rock.
- Favorite book? The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.
- Role model? My grandmother, Marilyn. She was an involved, strong woman who gave her time and energy to learning, loving, and volunteering and swore by the statement, “The best things in life are not things.”
- Favorite place to visit? I have been fortunate to spend time living and traveling in Ireland. Its untouched nature and original architecture left me awestruck. I am a fan of Dingle and Galway, where the people are particularly kind.
- Guilty pleasure? Binge-streaming a favorite series on Netflix.
- Memorable moment in the new job thus far? Working with generous, kind people who are so passionate for the most vulnerable people in our community and willing to do whatever it takes to meet identified needs.
- Favorite thing about our community? I am appreciative of our community’s accessibility to nature and abundance of local businesses, especially the variety of coffee shops.