Jennifer Barnum helps lead a group of 30 account managers at EAB, the rapidly growing company that markets colleges and universities to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Her team guides students through the inquiry and application process via a multi-media approach that includes mailings, online communication, and social media outreach. In her role as Director of Partner Operations, Jen maintains a constant focus on EAB’s core mission to make education smarter and communities stronger.
This commitment to the community was evident during a recent volunteer effort to spruce up PARK365 and maintain its aesthetic appeal for children and families enjoying popular playground activities. A crew of 16 account managers collaborated to create a process that made the best use of each volunteer’s skills to spread mulch, pull weeds and sweep walkways on one of the hottest days this year, and shortly before the Ladybug Fund Winetasting & Silent Auction.
As the mother of a child with a disability, Jen is familiar with PARK365’s social and recreational benefits. “We saw an immediate and direct connection between SOAR365 and EAB’s mission,” said Jen. “Our Community Impact Team chose this activity to benefit PARK365 visitors, but we gained at least as much by sharing this experience.”
Jen appreciates the time SOAR365 representatives took to explain the organization’s mission, programs and impact in the community. “We soon understood the many ways that SOAR365 engages the community and benefits individuals with disabilities and their families,” she said. “We saw for ourselves how so many people enjoy the park. Professionally, we help students and their families – and that focus really helped us connect with SOAR365. We want to live out our mission at work and in the community.”
At EAB, community engagement is seen as an important element of overall job satisfaction. The company allocates volunteer hours to its team members so they can give back to the community through hands-on projects.
“The more we learn about SOAR365 and its daily impact on so many lives, the better we feel about being involved,” said Jen. “We could almost make the case to volunteer for purely selfish reasons, but that isn’t how we look at the world. The ideal relationship benefits the service organization as well as the volunteers, and that’s exactly what we experienced at PARK365.”