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Grayce Belvedere Young – YWCA St. Paul Volunteer Extraordinaire

Gracye B. YoungAre you ready to focus on what matters most in your life, being more thoughtful with your time and treasure? If so, Grayce Belvedere Young has a book recommendation for you! “Inspired Philanthropy is a book that asks you to think about what’s important and motivates you to look closely at your values. Reading it was a turning point for me – it helped me focus on investing both my time and my resources in organizations with a mission I believe in. It forced me to be very thoughtful about using my energies in a way that makes the world a better place.

As CEO of Lily Pad Consulting, Grayce first began working with YWCA St. Paul’s leadership team about five years ago. Over time, she found that YW’s mission resonated with her. “It was at that point that I decided to volunteer my services to help advance their mission – because it just doesn’t get any better than eliminating racism and empowering women.”

Grayce credits her parents with the approach she takes to volunteering. “I’ve been so blessed. My parents’ support set me up for a successful and fulfilling career and life. As a result, I’m committed to helping others. When you’ve been given so much, you have a responsibility to give back. It’s been very rewarding for me to support the work of YWCA St. Paul, especially the programs dedicated to youth development and the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota. Those programs offer access, they open doors. And they provide a path forward for young women with big dreams.”

Lily Pad Consulting partners with leaders and organizations on strategy and organizational development. Designing solutions that help an organization with capacity building is a job highlight for Grayce. “It is gratifying to equip an organization with the tools, models and resources that will help them create new opportunities for their business or enable them to solve future problems. Sharing those resources and ideas is really a job highlight for me.”

When asked for advice for others interested in volunteering, Grayce shared this, “Focus on your areas of passion – what fires you up? Then identify two organizations in your passion area and maybe volunteer to work on a committee with one and attend a fundraiser for the other. And don’t be afraid to serve on a Board! People don’t think they’re qualified or experienced enough. Yet there are lots of resources you can tap to prepare you for board service, and you can also learn by doing. Don’t let your own fears prevent you from making a difference in the world.”