Volunteer Spotlight: Bre Dillard Ezema
Bre Dillard Ezema is a long-time volunteer and supporter of GENaustin, and we’re thrilled to have her as our volunteer of the month!
How did you first hear about GENaustin? What made you decide to get involved?
I actually did a search for organizations in the area focused on healthy body image for girls and GENaustin was the first link. After a little research I found out that GENaustin was also a Powering the Possible organization that Dell partners with. That sealed the deal for me and I called the volunteer coordinator to start training. Everything that GENaustin strives to do in the community is something I wanted to be a part of. I was looking for a way to make my domestic violence advocacy full circle. I believe in prevention, support and education. I had the support and education part covered with two other organizations that I volunteer with. The workshops that GENaustin offered looked to cover all of the preventative measures needed to combat unhealthy relationships.
You’ve helped spread the word of girls empowerment to hundreds of girls through out GirlConnect program. How has your volunteer experience enriched your own life?
I have some heavy volunteer assignments with other organizations from talking domestic violence related hotline calls to sexual assault accompaniment work so to see these young girls still so hopefully about this world we live in gives me hope and inspires me for days to continue my work as an healthy relationship advocate. The We Are Girls Conference has changed my life dramatically and I tell anyone who will listen about it. The different workshops offered address the important stuff that as adults we often just tell teens “ feel good about yourself or have high self-esteem” Well for many teens no one ever tells them what that really means or more so “how” that truly should look or feel. GENaustin has opened the door to the “how” on these issues. The workshops often provide an eye opening experience to the girls and they leave with the knowledge that media is not always right especially when it comes to defining beauty!
I know you’re also involved with both beauty pageants and a social media task force. Can you talk a little about how these experiences relate to the work you do with GENaustin?
My pageant system Texas Plus America Pageant has pledged to sponsor scholarships to the yearly conference based on the amazing work that GENaustin does with these young ladies and their parents as well. Our system allows ladies of any size to compete in pageantry and we believe GENaustin exhibits everything we stand for. Preparing strong, smart, and empowered young women to become giving and informed future leaders in society. The images shown to girls often reinforce the idea that you must look a certain way to be beautiful. My pageant sisters and I have made it our mission to show girls that rather you want to compete in pageants or became an Olympic athlete you have the power to decide and the number it reads on the a scale can’t measure your true worth.
I also have the pleasure of not only being involved with GENaustin on my personal time but my employer Dell also sponsors the We Are Girls Conference so when I was asked to lead the Dell Social Media Community Service project for Americas I jumped at the opportunity and I knew who the first organization I wanted to work with was. The task force is offering nonprofit organizations a chance to revamp their social media to make a bigger presence. We are in the early stages with GENaustin to take on the way the org gains volunteers and donations as well as the curriculum used to educate girls and parents on the pros and cons of social media. I love that GEN not only focuses on the pit falls associated with social media but also all the really informative, helpful, and cool ways we can utilize technology. I am optimistic about the project as well as our pageant on March 23rd to see how many scholarships we will be able to provide with donations.