Chesney Klubert ’14 has volunteered with Girls Rock Charlotte for five years and has watched the nonprofit grow from a summer camp for girls age 8-16 to a year-round experience that now reaches out to adult women.
Klubert, a personnel specialist in Atkins Library, started out as a band manager and camp counselor with Girls Rock Charlotte, which was founded by UNC Charlotte Women’s and Gender Studies Senior Lecturer Kelly Finley. The nonprofit’s goal is to build confidence in girls through music. Last year, Klubert was the camp director, overseeing the ins and outs of the organization’s signature event, the summer rock camp.
“I use my community service time for the teen rock camp,” Klubert said. “And I have been ever since I started (employment) here, actually. So that’s been a tremendous help in making sure that the camp runs and also that the campers can have this kind of experience, because it’s so empowering and encouraging for them to be themselves.”
University employees receive 24 hours of community service leave annually, a state benefit that UNC Charlotte leaders urge eligible faculty and staff members to use.
This year, the Community Relations Office organized another successful National Volunteer Week. During the week, 240 UNC Charlotte volunteers performed community service with 20 nonprofit organizations, equaling more than 400 hours of volunteer participation.
Klubert said the leave is an important benefit for her because, as the camp’s director, it’s crucial that she be there to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Girls Rock Charlotte’s programs target girls and gender diverse youth. Youth learn how to play an instrument, form a band, write a song together and perform it. The nonprofit also hosts monthly events where members of the community conduct workshops designed to inspire the young people. And Girls Rock Charlotte holds a Women’s Rock Retreat in the spring and fall.
Klubert said music is a medium that helps the girls use their voices. Growing up, Klubert said she did not feel comfortable expressing herself.
“I want to make sure that other people can have the opportunity from a young age to express themselves freely and be themselves and use their voices and make a difference,” she said.
Girls Rock Charlotte is in need of volunteers, including concert coaches, band managers, music instructors, roadies and camp counselors.
And there are more opportunities for employees to volunteer in May. The American Red Cross is rallying 30,000 volunteers for its Sound the Alarm initiative, where volunteers join with fire departments and other community partners to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in homes in at-risk communities across the nation. Volunteers are needed to help install alarms between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday, May 2, in Concord.
Additional volunteer opportunities include the 2019 Move Out Donation Station, scheduled for Monday, May 6 through Thursday, May 9. Volunteers are needed to collect various donated items from students as they move out of the residence halls.
Photo, inset, Chesney Klubert, Kelly Finley and Brit Swider, volunteer leaders with Girls Rock Charlotte.