Service Unites, powered by Points of Light, held in Atlanta, June 18-20 offers spectacular line up of keynote speakers and panelists making social and civic responsibility a priority. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms to deliver opening address at Fox Theatre on Monday, June 18
Natalye Paquin’s curriculum vitae reads like a laundry list of social causes from her work with beleaguered public school systems in Chicago and Philadelphia, to Chief Transformation Officer for Global Strategy at Girl Scouts USA to now and perhaps one of her most comprehensive endeavors to date as president and CEO of the prestigious Points of Light organization.
Paquin, who moved to Atlanta in September of 2017, is known in political and social change circles as an “old soul,” having fine-tuned her compassionate leanings and a deep sense of understanding by serving in social and cultural trenches on a number of challenging fronts. A few colleagues even lovingly refer to the accomplished attorney as the Oprah Winfrey of large scale social causes.
A Miami native and graduate of Chicago’s renowned DePaul University, Paquin came to be recognized on the national level while working with U.S. Dept. of Education’s office of Civil Rights, and following a successful stint as a leading litigator in the Illinois State Attorneys’ office where she represented Cook County Hospitals.
“Advocacy and service have always been a part of my life,” explains Paquin. “My family believes that to whom much is given, much is required. A strong work ethic and a commitment to giving back wasn’t optional, it was ingrained.”
So, when the Atlanta newcomer was approached to lead Points of Light, an organization established by former U.S. president George H. W. Bush, she did what comes naturally, she stepped up to the plate, determined to expand the organization’s realm of influence and implement initiatives to encourage and celebrate volunteerism on national and international stages.
And that spirit emanates from Paquin in ways that are almost other worldly. “We’re a network of networks. We work with corporations, nonprofits and individuals to provide human capita in a range or areas, from causes like daycare, domestic violence, homelessness and human rights,” she explained, adding that 30 percent of the workforce for nonprofits is comprised of volunteers. “We’re all points of light … It’s about finding ways to solve problems that corporations and government haven’t been able to solve.”
Points of Light engages some five million volunteers through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations which provide 20 million hours of service each year.
Paquin points to her experience as CEO of the tenth largest Girl Scout Council in the United States, where she helped manage 15,000 volunteers and served 40,000 girls,
Hands on Atlanta, a Points of Life affiliate organization is a key partner in identifying and developing partnerships and strategies to boost local volunteer opportunities and engagement. The much-lauded local organization helps individuals, families, companies and community groups strengthen Greater Atlanta through volunteering and service at more than 200 nonprofit organizations and schools.
“Atlanta is a very connected city and what we have learned [here] is that people are at the center of change, and that’s been reaffirmed for me here in Atlanta” said Paquin, who shares that although Points of Light’s focuses on a global agenda, they serve the larger objective by acting locally.
“If the larger agenda is to improve community, [the question is] what are you going to do to help improve community,” Paquin concluded.
Youth leaders Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; ABC News veteran John Quinoñes; 2018 Olympic medalist figure skater Adam Rippon; and author, artist and poet Cleo Wade, are joining other nationally-known speakers like former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, NBA player Dwight Howard and more.
For tickets to Service Unites launch at the Fox Theatre please visit www.eventbrite.com/e/service-unites-2018-fox-theatre-opening-tickets-46598467270.