Over the years, society’s view of what philanthropy is and who can be a philanthropist has drastically changed.
Research has shown that women play a central role in the charitable giving space. There has been a shift in our culture whereas women are making more independent financial decisions. As a result, there has been a rise in the role women play in philanthropy. From donating to giving circles to holding leadership roles within charitable organizations, the presence of women in philanthropy is increasing.
In this edition of The Conversation, CFGG’s Director of ETWI and Guilford Apprenticeship Partners, Ann Flynt, provides insight into her journey and experience being a woman working in philanthropy.
How does your career at CFGG help and/or influence your passion and goal in life?
All my life, I have felt the need to help people, but also wanted to excel in the business world. I began my career as a commercial underwriter for a large insurance company right out of college, but then life happened — I got married and quickly became the mother of 2 children. I was lucky to be able to stay home and take care of my 2 children for 7 years while my husband worked to support the family. When I decided to re-enter the workforce, I switched from my business focus to becoming an educator. The daughter of a college professor who spent her entire life around college campuses, becoming an educator was in my blood — there were a number of family members who were educators.
I began my career as a teacher assistant, and I worked my way up from a teacher assistant to a teacher, to assistant principal, to finally principal, earning additional college degrees and credentials along the way. But being the CEO of a school was not all that I thought it would be. So, I went looking for something new that would not only challenge me but also use my business and education knowledge and background. I was lucky enough to find that perfect position here at CFGG when I was hired as the Four County Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator with the Eastern Triad Workforce Initiative. I could not believe how lucky I was to not only find the perfect position, but also the best mentor and boss in Donna Newton who was the Director of Workforce Initiatives at CFGG. In my new role, I would be working with students, parents, educators, business-people, and community members. It was the perfect fit — a balance of education and workforce — with a focus on apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are the gold standard of the workforce, and how blessed was I to have the opportunity to help develop Guilford Apprenticeship Partners (GAP) youth apprenticeship program. Helping young people find their career pathway and giving them the opportunity to earn a college degree with no debt, while also building a career for themselves — how powerful and rewarding! The work that GAP does is life-changing and truly inspirational as I get to see young people find their calling while also blossoming into adulthood! Additionally, I get to use both my business and education background.
How do you overcome the challenges you face?
I believe with hard work, faith, and determination you can overcome and survive any challenge you face. My family is a source of strength to me when I have had to deal with difficult situations, and I know that they will always be there cheering me on, telling me that I can do it! I am so thankful to have such a supportive family— Family means everything to me!!
What is a quote that empowers/inspires you?
This quote from Winston Churchill truly inspires me:
Success is not final
Failure is not fatal
It is the courage to continue that counts.
What advice would you like to give to other women?
I would like to encourage women to support each other, encourage each other, and band together to continue to make our community stronger and stronger each day!