As a member of the CVC-TC, we’d like other members and partners to get to know you a bit better. By sharing a bit about what you do and how you make an impact on the community it strengthens not only our organization, but could also strengthen corporate volunteerism as a whole.
Name: Bonnie Vagasky
Title: Vice President, Educational Program
How many years have you been at your current company? 21 years.
How many years have you been in your role? 3 years.
Describe your role at your company and how your work contributes to the success of the company?
My role allows me to work with all of our program managers as they carry out BestPrep programs and serve Minnesota students and teachers. I provide leadership, guidance and insight on each program and how to keep them fresh and relevant.
What are some of the most successful volunteer projects you’ve worked on?
BestPrep’s eMentors program has been an absolute homerun. The low time commitment for volunteers yet high impact on students makes the program easy for companies to say ‘Yes.’ Volunteers share career options with students as well as introduce pathways to achieve career success. BestPrep has the largest email mentoring program in the country; more than 4,200 students will have a mentor this year.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in the CVC-TC?
Take full advantage of all that the CVC-TC has to offer. Members are there to learn from one another and to share ideas. It’s not a competitive environment so there’s a willingness to share ideas and best practices.
What motivates you to do good work?
I have a deep passion for providing excellent educational programs to students and teachers – and using volunteers creates a community in the classrooms. Having been a teacher, I know the challenges teachers face and when there’s a support system of people who want to help them, they feel supported and less like they need to do it all themselves. Students thrive when they have energized and enthusiastic teachers.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?
Be responsive. Often in volunteer management and non-profit management all we have to give is our service. The customer service we give, our attitude, and commitment to a job well done is our best advertisement. Be true to your word and do good work.
What is your most prized possession?
My most prized possession is a shadow box that I made after my dad passed. It’s filled with his favorite things.
What is your favorite place in the Twin Cities and why?
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is ‘balm to my soul.’ I love walking its trails with my camera in hand.