Rowland Hall alumna—and longtime dedicated volunteer—Monet Nielsen Maggelet ’14 believes that the practice of giving back is transformative.
“Every time I’ve volunteered, I’ve gotten more out of it than I could ever give,” she said.
Since she was a young student, Monet has donated her time to organizations she cares about. And though she’s done this for several groups over the years, she’s been especially drawn to one: YWCA Utah, the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Monet remembers Rowland Hall as one important influence in the development of her love of volunteerism. “The Upper School puts a lot of emphasis on volunteering and giving back to your community,” she said.
“The first time I volunteered at YWCA Utah was during high school as part of a project for Kate Taylor's honors English class,” said Monet. “I volunteered with a group of friends to put together a fun event for families living at the shelter.”
In fact, Monet remembers Rowland Hall as one important influence in the development of her love of volunteerism—“The Upper School puts a lot of emphasis on volunteering and giving back to your community,” she said—and that initial experience at YWCA Utah inspired her to continue to support the organization. During college, she led an outreach Girl Scout troop for girls at the shelter, while also studying elementary education, history, and English as a second language (ESL). And after graduation, Monet said, she continued to feel a pull toward the organization, though she wasn’t sure how she could help while navigating the demands of a newly minted teacher.
“I wanted to do something, but it was hard for me to spend as many hours volunteering as a first-year and second-year teacher,” Monet said.
Still, she reached out to the nonprofit to explore ways she could give back, and in 2020 was offered a spot on YWCA Utah’s Board of Directors, which she joined in August of that year. Monet said it’s an honor to be asked to serve in this role and to have the chance to collaborate with YWCA Utah’s Chief Executive Officer Liz Owens, Chief Mission Impact Officer Saundra Stokes, and their team.
“They’re really leading YWCA Utah to make sure the eliminating racism part of our mission is fulfilled,” she said, “and they are always thinking critically about how to have an antiracist lens.”
I don’t think you can ever educate yourself too much. I am continuing to learn and I’m still on my own path, and I know that path is neverending.—Monet Nielsen Maggelet ’14
Monet is also contributing to these conversations: in addition to attending full-board meetings, she sits on two of the board’s committees, Public Policy and Racial Equity and Social Justice, where she lends her experiences, particularly as an educator, to help YWCA Utah fulfill its mission. Monet was even invited to share her perspective on this necessary work in a video the organization recently created for its Stronger Together campaign (see above), which celebrates 115 years of the nonprofit’s service in Utah.
“I truly believe that it’s my duty to be an advocate for all of my students,” Monet said in the video. “I want all of my students of color to know I am working to educate myself and to stand up for them.”
Monet invites members of the Rowland Hall community to also help support this important work: she recommends joining YWCA Utah’s 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, which begins June 21 and will lead participants on a journey around the core concepts on race equity so that they can have the necessary conversations that will contribute toward making Utah a safer place for everyone.
“I don’t think you can ever educate yourself too much,” Monet said. “I am continuing to learn and I’m still on my own path, and I know that path is neverending.”
Banner photo: Monet with her husband, fellow Rowland Hall alum Drew Maggelet ’13.