Rebecca Ellison came to a realization — better yet, a reminder — of the career she desired after graduating from Towson University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While scouring job postings online, she wanted two things: to help people and to work at a nonprofit.
It didn’t take long for Ellison, 23, to find The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, which was seeking a campaign associate for IMPACT, the philanthropic organization’s young adult division. Her active involvement in the Towson Hillel and the Student Government Association and Chabad of Towson and Goucher made her a natural fit for the position.
“I had been touched by The Associated in so many ways growing up,” said Ellison, who grew up in Reisterstown and became a bat mitzvah at Beth Israel Congregation. “I really didn’t even know or think about it until I started working there.”
In her position, Ellison seeks not only to inspire, engage and educate younger generations, but also to encourage professional and social networking opportunities. Since starting, she has worked closely with Associated agencies Charm City Tribe, Repair the World Baltimore and Moishe House Baltimore, and she has assisted IMPACT with its own events and programs.
How did you start at The Associated?
I thought I wanted to do clinical psychology, and I thought I wanted to do counseling. But I also wanted to get into nonprofit work. I looked at The Associated because you see the signs everywhere, and I trusted it. When I looked at The Associated’s website for available jobs, it listed any jobs open with the agencies and programs. So the process for me became really streamlined as I was looking for the next step that I wanted to take in my career.
What are you primary responsibilities?
Our primary focus at IMPACT is young adult philanthropy and leadership development. Specifically, IMPACT works to engage the now generation and the next generation in philanthropy and giving back to the community. We also funnel young adults into community-engagement opportunities to build the next generation of leaders. Half of my job is the investment branch of The Associated.
Are there challenges?
It’s really important for us to invest our time, energy and resources into building future philanthropists. We’re not all [able] to give today in the capacity that we want to. It’s about helping young people build the connection to the organization, so that when they do have the resources to give back, The Associated is their No. 1 choice.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like knowing that I’m a part of engaging not only the next generation, but the now generation. We’re not the next generation. We’re right now. Today is just as important as tomorrow. I think that’s really powerful. What I also enjoy is knowing that I get to work with our community partners in providing solutions today for engagement. At the same time, my role in the community is being able to raise the dollars needed to continue supporting our partners’ roles in the community.
I just want to continue to be in a position where I can continue to make an impact on the community that I’ve grown up in. Working in The Associated system has allowed me to do that. I really couldn’t ask for anything more than what I’m doing now.