Volunteer of the month: Marguerite Ferguson
Margo, above left, and second from the left on the Canvassing Team.
Here at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, our volunteers are the backbone of our work to mobilize the citizens of Duval County to support public education, especially with the ONE by ONE campaign. We are always overjoyed when someone signs up to help even just one event or task.
But there are times when a volunteer goes far beyond our expectations. They dedicate their time and energy for countless events and even invite their network of friends, family and neighbors to join the cause.
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund has many wonderful supporters that fit this profile. Marguerite Ferguson is an exceptional example. She came to one of the first neighborhood canvassing efforts for the ONE by ONE campaign. She partnered with one of our dedicated board members, Kenneth Reddick, to canvass the Northside of Jacksonville. Out of the several groups canvassing, her group dominated by not only visiting the most homes but also receiving some really great feedback from community members.
On the second canvassing outing, Margo not only showed up to help at the Beaches, but she brought a team with her! Ever since then, she has volunteered for many ONE by ONE conversations and events, and participated as a delegate to the Community Agreement Convention.
I asked Margo why she was so dedicated to ONE by ONE.
She said this: "I volunteer with JPEF [the Jacksonville Public Education Fund] as a way of paying it forward. As an immigrant raised in the inner city, my young life was challenging. School was my only way out. I asked one of my mentors growing up, 'how can I ever repay you?' He replied, 'you do the same for some ONE else who needs you!'"
It's hard to overstate how much power Margo and supporters like her have to mobilize our community to support public schools. That's why we'll be featuring a volunteer every month right here on the blog!