The perfect president for Project Give Back (@project_give_back) needs to be a person who is not only financial savvy but marshmallow-mushy heart savvy. Someone who can see how much an elementary school program can change people’s lives.
The perfect president for Project Give Back is Melanie Robins Levcovich (@melanielevcovich). Past cereal consumer. Outdoor activity appreciator. Owner of a huge heart and of course, number cruncher.
When it came to writing Get Up, I asked over 60 mentors a very loaded question:
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR TEENAGE SELF?
I just had to ask Melanie for her point of view. I mean, come on. Anyone who is connected to Ellen Schwartz (@ellenlevyschwartz) and Project Give Back must have a heart as huge as Mount Everest.
I had to learn more about the woman “behind the curtain” and I’m sure you are dying to know, too! 😉
And here is her answer, among her other lovely thoughts.
Who is Melanie Levcovich?
“I am a little bit of everything; my interests range from health and nutrition to the arts to science and business. I believe that the world could be a little brighter and fairer by letting people make a living wage while pursuing their passion or helping others. I believe that currently, what gets financially rewarded is not aligned with what has value.”
How did you begin to work for Project Give Back?
Finding the perfect president for Project Give Back CEO and Founder, Ellen Schwartz didn’t have to look very far.
Melanie is Ellen’s childhood friend who was educated at one of the best business schools in North America. The Kellogg School of Management. She also had experience as VP of Marketing for several software companies, including consulting for IBM.
This was how the story went, according to Melanie. “We went out for dinner one night about 20 years ago. Ellen was telling me all about her new business adventure. After realizing the potential and power of Project Give Back, I began asking Ellen all the “behind the scenes” financial questions. This led to the inevitable offer to handle the financial issues, so Ellen can focus on the quality of the program, as it continues to grow.”
Project Give Back was an easy transition for Melanie. she appreciates how it gives kids the tools to pursue their passion to help others, creating the leaders of tomorrow.
Presently, Melanie splits her time between managing at a private wealth firm and supporting the growth at Project Give Back.
What have you learned from working at Project Give Back?
“I have learned amazing things from the creativity and compassion of the young people that have gone through the program. Children facing incredible challenges become inspirational leaders. In addition, a tremendous sense of community and compassion is built in the classroom to replace bullying.”
It all begins with a ripple effect. A child did a presentation on a homeless shelter, called Seaton House. This presentation was so inspirational that two other children in the class started an organization that raises money and delivers gifts of clothes and supplies to several shelters in Toronto. Their endeavour is called Share Your Smiles (@shareyoursmilesofficial).
Project Give Back empowers children to make positive changes in the lives of others. Whether by saying hello and being inclusive or starting up a new charitable organization, students practice empathy and develop leadership qualities.
Let’s Unpack your quote!
“Don’t eat cereal for breakfast it makes you hungry and tired – instead get a good blender and have fruit and vegetable smoothies and you will have much more energy.”
It really is the best advice I can give. Omitting cereal was a life-changing lesson in so many ways. Simple carbohydrates make you tired. They make you think you are hungry so you eat more and make the problem worse.
I made the switch to smoothies for breakfast that contain nutrient-rich foods such as cabbage or Beets. I no longer had to worry about what I ate ever again. My only regret is that I didn’t figure this out until I was in my forties.
It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to build an organization that will change the world. One child at a time.