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The balancing act

Caution. Volunteering to make your community a better place can be addictive. Just ask some of the most active volunteers with the Junior League of Jackson (JLJ).

Camille Scales Young, government affairs representative for Watkins Ludlum Winter and Stennis, P.A., is married with three children. She finds time for a career, family life and volunteering because all are important to her.

“I volunteer because I am a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is required,” Young said. “I believe that God gives us all gifts and fully expects us to use them to bless other people. Volunteering is so important to me because I think that making a difference in one person’s life at a time truly makes a difference in our world.”

Her tips for balancing it all include setting priorities and a schedule.

“I try to live all parts of my life so that I don’t ever look back and say, “I wish I had…, whether it is spending time with my children, volunteering or taking time for myself,” she said.



In addition to JLJ, she coordinates a Women’s Small Group Bible Study at her church, is involved in PTO at her children’s schools and supports activities of her sorority’s graduate chapter. She is second vice president of the Mississippi State University National Alumni Association and a member of the Mississippi 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.

Col. Deborah Walley Coleman is coordinator for the Mississippi National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and the commandant of the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy. The widow, who is a mother of two, was the first female in a non-specialty branch to be promoted to the rank of colonel in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Coleman volunteers for JLJ, the Greater Jackson Alumni Association, her church and military organizations.



“Volunteering helps me grow as a person and allows me to give back to this great nation that we live in,” Coleman said. “We have so much to offer and what is offered to us is immeasurable, if you ask me. Taking the time to volunteer helps me grow as a person mentally, physically and spiritually. I like to get my two sons involved when I can. This helps them understand why I volunteer.”

She recommends including family in volunteering. It will benefit them just as much as it benefits you.

“I have taken my two sons with me on several occasions,” Coleman said. “They have helped out and have had fun.”

JLJ volunteer Charlotte Seals has a spouse and two children in addition to all those kids at Madison County School District where she is assistant superintendent. She is on the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Board of Directors, and also volunteers with Stewpot Ministries, Habitat for Humanity and is a teacher at her church, Holy Family Catholic Church. She is a former board member of the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company.



“I love having the opportunity to unite and network with others for a common cause, the cause being that of giving back to my community and helping to impact and hopefully improve the life of others,” Seals said.

Her tips for balancing family, career and volunteer work including being as organized as possible while maximizing time saving technologies such as e-mail and texting to help you with communication. Along the way, don’t forget there is more to life than work.

“I believe that while I work really hard, there is a time to also play hard,” Seals said.

Elizabeth Upchurch, owner, Fresh Ink (a retail stationery, gift and graphic design business located in Highland Village), has found she is rewarded many times over when she makes the time to focus on others.

“Making a positive impact on the community is very important to me,” said the wife and mother of two who also volunteers with the Arthritis Foundation and the Jackson Symphony League. “The legacy of community service in the Jackson area, set forth by so many area residents, serves as consistent inspiration for me to get involved and to make a positive impact.”

In business, and in life, she tries to always see any situation from the other person’s perspective. Her goal is to treat others with the level of service or kindness that she would expect in the same situation.

“Also, probably one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in business and in life is that each unique situation requires consideration,” Upchurch said. “Listening to input and guidance from customers, co-workers and friends has been critical to our success. When the feedback you receive is hard to hear, most frequently that is what you will grow from the most.”

Melissa “Missie” Broyles has worked for the same mechanical engineering consulting firm for over 16 years, a business started by her father 20 years ago.

“Growing up my parents instilled in my siblings and me the importance of giving back to the community,” Broyles said. “So I have carried this philosophy on through my adulthood. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that I have touched a life in some capacity or helped out an organization that in turn reaches those in need in our community.”

In addition to JLJ, Broyles has volunteered for the Mississippi Symphony League, UMMC Candlelighters, Mississippi Opera, American Cancer Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Still, she recommends not volunteering for everything that comes your way.

“Do your research and go with your heart,” Broyles said. “What is important to you? Who do you want to help? And being organized is a must. My rule is it is better to be a great volunteer for one organization than to be a mediocre volunteer for several organizations.”

And whether it is her career or volunteering, her words to live by are: Enjoy what you do.

See related story here.


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