Bringing Out the Best in Local Youth Volunteers

Connecting with Kids Leadership award-winner Nancy Schaber loves her job.
Nancy Schaber helps train youth volunteers at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

Each year, the Edina Community Foundation’s Connecting with Kids program recognizes standout leaders whose work with local youth “goes above and beyond their job descriptions,” according to the foundation’s executive director, Dick Crockett.

One of the 2014 honorees is Nancy Schaber, a volunteer specialist at Fairview Southdale Hospital. Schaber joined Fairview Southdale in September 2011, and works exclusively with junior volunteers, ages 14 to 18. Prior to a re-evaluation of the program, junior volunteers largely delivered flowers and gifts to hospital rooms, which meant that they had a lot of downtime. Schaber helped develop a system to train youth volunteers to support hospital staff in more tangible ways. Now youth volunteers also discharge patients, answer phones, dispatch team members, and more.

Schaber is modest about her role and prefers to highlight the accomplishments of the youth volunteers she mentors. “This is the first job in my life where I feel like I’m in the right place,” Schaber says. “It’s a privilege to work with the people that I do.”