Arienne Good, Fundraising and Donor Relations Coordinator – YWCA Niagara
Graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, Arienne moved on to complete her certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Fanshawe College. Although fairly new to the Niagara region, Arienne has quickly become integrated into the community.
Arienne is the Fundraising and Donor Relations Coordinator at the YWCA Niagara Region. She engages in the community in numerous ways throughout her event planning and community partnerships. She is looking forward to learning more about the issues that face our community and how to tackle them together.
How do you define community leadership?
Community leadership is someone or a group of people focusing and working together to better the community through their various skills. It’s embracing the community in order to positively impact it.
Why are you personally motivated to explore community leadership?
I want to explore community leadership because I want to find ways to help the community using my skill-set and knowledge while working with others to tackle issues facing our Niagara community. I want to become someone who can inspire and motivate others to find their form of leadership and teach them how to use it towards bettering our community. I want to explore the kind of leadership I can own, that is beneficial to the Niagara community as a whole. I’ve seen people from the Leadership Niagara step out of it able to take on challenges in our community and launch helpful businesses that really make a difference. I want to be able to be part of that.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
Affordable housing. It’s a crisis in our community that affects so many. Finding a place that is reasonably priced feels like it is almost impossible. I see this firsthand through my work at the YW, trying to find transitional housing units for our clients is extremely difficult. We see so many clients coming into our emergency shelters who couldn’t pay rent because they were not making enough to pay the outrageous prices.
How would you go about tackling this issue?
How would I tackle it? A few ways.
1) I would work with organizations such as the YW to talk about the crisis and what they are doing to take on the issue and support those initiatives. The more education a person has around an issue, the easier it is to tackle.
2) As a community leader, I would find other like-minded leaders and start having monthly conversations about ways we can work on it. Talking about it is key because that brings awareness.
3) Use these voices and start trying bringing the conversation up with key leaders such as politicians. Telling them we care and want to do something about it gives them the motivation to bring the conversation up where it needs to be (regional council, queen’s park, parliament hill).
As a community leader, I believe it is essential to become advocates for the people affected by issues in our communities. *Note: I realize that this answer could sound biased as I work for the YW, but this is an issue I hear about all of the time in circles that are outside of my non-porfit world and an issue I have faced in my own personal life.
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
One of the most important attributes of a leader is passion because if a leader isn’t passionate then it is difficult to motivate others, and represent something full-heartedly. When someone is authentic, they are able to inspire others with that energy and focus on the task at hand.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
I want to learn how to take the passion I have, for the community, for my organization, and use that to motivate others to take action and get involved in whatever capacity that looks like for them. I hope to develop the skills to help others find their own type of leadership so as a community we can come together to tackle the issues that we all face. I think leadership is so important because it shows people direction, but collaboration then makes things possible. Through the program, I’d like to develop “further thinking” because I currently am more focused on the issues I see right now versus the issues that are slowly making their way into our community. I would love to learn how to make sustainable goals for the future as well. I think this program really opens up the opportunity to learn from others who care about our community and want to make it better. I’m sure there are so many more attributes I want to learn and won’t know until I see them.