Susan Brock Williams, left, leads the graduates in the BBBSCI Class of 2018 in a toast to their futures at Celebrate Mentoring.
Today’s blog features a note from Susan Brock Williams, BBBSCI Board of Directors President. She reflects on her involvement with the mission and how she plans to keep working to serve more kids in our community:
“Bear with me…I have been in a reflective mood lately. You see, I turned 50 last year and beat back breast cancer, so I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I am doing enough to give back to my community during my time here on this earth. How else can I contribute? How can I get even more of my fellow citizens to step up and generously give their time, expertise and money to help others?
With pride, I have been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana for almost two decades and am coming up on the final days of my second term as board president. I love this organization and what we do to help boys and girls. We are changing young lives for the better, but like with so many non-profits, our work is never done. Sadly, we have around 1,000 youth in our community who have signed up and are waiting for a mentor, a positive adult role model who will take the time to listen to them and encourage them to achieve great things in life. All it takes is at least a year commitment and four hours or more a month to help a child.
On my desk at work, I keep a card with a picture of Ceiona, a twelve-year-old fifth grader who lives on the West Side of Indianapolis. I’ve never met Ceiona, but she inspires me every day. She says, “I hope that I make it to college and make it through. When I grow up, I want to be a professional basketball player or lawyer. I live with my mom, two sisters, one dog, and one cat. I want a big sister because I want someone to hang out with and do stuff like I do. I hope my big sister teaches me to be responsible and help others.” Wow.
Recently, I was able to talk my nephew into considering taking on the role of mentor and Big Brother. He’s a sharp young professional and recent IU grad living downtown who has the time to give back. Only about 999 more to go! How can I get others to consider being a Big? This is something our amazing staff and board strategize about and work towards every day. Will you help us?
I also wonder what else I could be doing to encourage more people to give financially. Anyone who has ever served on a non-profit board can tell you that it is a constant responsibility to fundraise. In the face of so many great causes, what more can I be doing to make my non-profit stand out and show impact? I think about all the kids we are helping as I send yet another email appeal or make one more phone call. There is such a need to help these young people in our community, many who live in poverty and face adversity like you cannot believe. Will you help us?
Aside from the joy of raising three teenagers of my own, these are the questions that keep me up at night. Am I doing enough to make Indianapolis a better place? I look back on my 25 years of volunteer work and feel blessed to have served with so many amazing people. I thank the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series for setting me on the right path early on. In fact, I can still hear the voice of the late Margot Eccles asking me what I am doing to give back. If you’re not already involved in some way, let’s talk. Our city has so much to give, and I want to be part of it with you for at least 25 more years! Will you help me?”
About the Author:
Susan Brock Williams has close to 25 years of experience in government relations. For the last fourteen years, she has served as Director, Government Relations for Purdue University, representing the institution before the Indiana General Assembly and state government. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University and her law degree from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law. While attending law school, Williams served as a Governor’s Fellow in the Evan Bayh administration, Legislative Liaison for the State Emergency Management Agency/Department of Fire and Building Services (now Homeland Security), and Legislative Director for the Office of the Attorney General. Susan served six years as Director – State Government Relations for Ameritech (now AT&T) before temporarily leaving the workforce to care for her children full-time for three years prior to her current position.
Williams was a member of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, Class XX and was honored as Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty under 40 recipient in 2005 and an Influential Woman in 2008. She served as Chairperson of the Lacy Leadership Association Board of Directors, Chairperson of the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation Board of Directors and is currently serving a second term as President of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana Board of Directors. She has volunteered with the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, American Pianists Association, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
Williams and her husband, Brian, have three teenagers (Max, Owen, and Ava) where they reside along the White River north of Broad Ripple. She is a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Indianapolis where she served as President of the Parish Council and currently is a member of the School Commission. She also chaired the tri-parish (St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Joan of Arc, and Immaculate Heart of Mary) Connected in the Spirit Committee of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Susan loves music, singing, and helping people get organized.