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Spotlight! Molly Knapp (Leadership Institute Edition)

Name: Molly Knapp

Job title: Operations Manger

Organization: Road Home Program at Rush

Time in current role: 5 years

College/School: Trinity Christian College & Dominican University

Area of study/expertise: Social Work

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? The wide range of areas I can work in with a background in social work.

What drew you to the nonprofit sector?· My grandfather is the reason I am in this field. He spent his career as the Director of a local Red Cross chapter and volunteered almost every moment of his free time. I grew up thinking that helping others was a natural part of life and that it was normal to help people in any way you could. I love the way he put others before himself but also found time for his family. I would not be the person I am today with out him showing me the way.

Favorite vacation you've ever been on? I miss traveling so much in the past few years. One of the top places I have been would be Egypt because it seems more like a far off place you only get to read about. It was crazy to see the paint still as vibrant as the day it was painted inside the deep tombs in the Valley of the Kings. We have been able to travel a little within the US and do have a large family group trip planned for Hawaii this summer.

Where is your hometown? I grew up in southern IL in a town called Edwardsville. Growing up it was a much smaller town than it is now. There was a day each year when people drove their tractors to school for fun and the only place to go out to eat was Steak N Shake. Now the town has changed so much it is basically an outer suburb of St. Louis fully living into the college town vibe.

How would you describe your job to a child? I work at a place that helps people who served in the military get better. Sometimes after people get back from doing their hard jobs they need help because what they did made them sad or someone did something to them that hurt them. I work with people who talk a lot with the veterans to help them understand that things are going to get better and its ok to be sad but they wont be sad forever.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I would love to learn how to be a master gardener! My “if I won a million dollars dream” would be to open a cut flower farm with an event space.

What is your best or most meaningful memory of working in the nonprofit sector so far? One of the most rewarding experiences was when I got the opportunity to help plan events for Illinois Families of the Fallen. We planned two events a year where families who lost a loved one who had served in the military were able to come together for a day of bonding, support and fun.

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