This month’s volunteer spotlight is on Linda Sharkey! Born and raised in Lynn, Linda is a self-proclaimed “Lynn Cheerleader.” She graduated from Lynn English and continues to live in the city. She currently works independently as a health and nutrition consultant, helping people who are looking to overcome all kinds of challenges in order to achieve optimum health. Formerly, she served on the board of the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance and has spoken at various panels around the city on women in business. On her various volunteer activities in Lynn, Linda says, “Paying it forward has always been something I was taught. I’m a big advocate for the city, and giving back to it has been a part of my life for so long it comes naturally.”
Being from Lynn, Linda knew about Girls Inc. well before she started volunteering, and was excited to get involved. She volunteers monthly doing healthy cooking with teens ages 14-17, while also providing background on the health components of each recipe. She says, “What I do with the girls is a mix of hands on working with food, but also providing education about how to make healthier choices once the lesson is over.” Her favorite part of her service has been building relationships with the girls, and knowing that her involvement goes back to the very mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. She says, “What I’m doing is giving these girls the tools and responsibility to take control of their own health. With that knowledge comes a great power and sense of control over their bodies and their lives.”
The teen programs at Girls Inc. of Lynn offer many leadership opportunities to young women, ages 14 to 18. Teens address important issues such as sexism, racism, the prevention of early sexual activity, underage drinking and drug use. All young women learn about career choices, college admissions, and other post-secondary opportunities. Teens also have access to academic workshops, tutoring, computers and adult mentors. For more information or to learn how to volunteer, contact Cam Ostrow at email@example.com.