As we now know being a philanthropist isn’t about having long money. It’s about having the desire to give and putting that desire to action- in resources and time. For this reason today we thank budding philanthropist Erika Stallings for her desire to give back and her deliberate actions to do so!
Location: New York, NY
How many years have you been giving back: Not even a year. I only started really being active as a philanthropist this year. I think part of it was that I thought I could only be a board member or philanthropist once I had a lot of money (i.e. could write a really big check). But I’ve learned that even a small amount of money is enough to make a difference but more importantly, non-profit organizations need people who are passionate, committed volunteers and can bring new ideas to the table.
What is your personal mission: I haven’t figured out the form that it will take yet but I really want to be in a career that helps people to best utilize their talents and abilities. On the charity side, I have always been very into the arts and I want to figure out a way to make the audiences at theaters, ballets, etc more diverse. The upcoming generation is going to be the first majority-minority generation. How do we ensure that they patronize the arts? How do we reflect the arts to appeal to a more diverse audience?
What has been one highlight of your giving/ community activity this year?: I took a class on preparing to serve on a nonprofit board through the N.Y. Junior League this year and through the class I learned about an organization called the Breast Treatment Task Force. The organization works with young women who don’t have health insurance and gives them access to breast cancer screenings and pays for their follow up treatment if necessary. My mom is a two time cancer survivor so I was incredibly excited about getting connected with them.
If you were gifted $1million dollars, how would you spend it? I would pay my student loans! And I would make a large gift to the University of North Carolina, my alma mater. It played such a large role in helping me to become the person I am today. And I was blessed to go there on a full scholarship.
Follow Erika on Twitter: @quidditch424
We are so proud of Erika for all that she is and all that she will become as a philanthropist! You go girl!!!