Megan Arthur, Site Based Program Manager at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
Social Media: LinkedIn
Megan Arthur feels a deep sense of connection to the mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. As the first person in her family to attend a 4-year college, she remembers feeling overwhelmed by the decisions to be made about what to study and how that would impact her future. She says her mother’s support and guidance was a huge part of what helped her through those decisions. In her experience at Big Brother Big Sisters, she sees that same type of supportive relationship developing between Bigs and Littles every day.
Megan is originally from Florida and studied Family, Youth and Community Sciences along with Communication Studies and Nonprofit Leadership as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. This course of study has served her well in her time at Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization that creates professionally supported one-to-one matches for kids who want to realize their full potential. In her current role, she manages the organization’s new site based program. Since the program began in the late fall of 2018, Megan has helped lead its establishment and growth across the metro Atlanta area. The site based model connects mentors and students for mentoring during the school day either at the Little’s school or the Big’s workplace. Site based mentoring provides a different experience than the traditional community based mentoring which occurs outside of school hours, usually in the Little’s home.
After being recognized as a YNPN Atlanta 30 Under 30 awardee in 2018, Megan continued her involvement with YNPN by attending events and getting to know folks across Atlanta’s robust nonprofit sector. When she saw the Opportunity Grant application, she considered that this might be a vehicle to help her take the next step in her career. While her undergraduate studies have prepared her well for her role, she hopes to continue her education and obtain a Master’s degree to augment her knowledge and skills. Megan will be taking the GRE later this year, and her Opportunity Grant will help cover the cost of the test.
Megan’s advice to those applying for an Opportunity Grant is to first review the requirements and be sure that the grant covers what you’re applying for. As she worked through the application, she asked herself a simple question, “Why would I choose me?” She said that helped her to frame application. She also encourages applicants to think beyond how the funding will help you and think instead about how the funding will help you help others. She thought long and hard about how the funding would eventually allow her to better support the communities she serves.
Megan also noted that part of the application asks about the applicant’s involvement in the community. She considered this section less about a list of service activities and more about “knowing your community, knowing who is in it, using the resources that are there for you, and being able to refer others to them.” This perspective helped to her frame her application to authentically represent her community engagement.
One of Megan’s favorite parts of her work is when she has students come to her requesting mentors. Megan says, “curiosity is a value that’s central to a lot of things”, and she sees these students being curious about what is out there and what they can learn from a mentor. That curiosity shows that they’re invested in themselves and their future. Megan clearly exhibits that same curiosity as she works toward taking the GRE and embarking on a course of study that will help her to grow and better serve the young people of metro Atlanta.