Search

Volunteers Make the School Year Go ‘Round: Kimberly Strong

Lauren Espy and Lizzie Hickman

The 2019-20 school year is up and running in Hamilton County. Teachers are at the forefront of of learning, but they need support. 

This is where volunteers step in, enriching students' educational experiences by sharing career expertise. 

Kimberly Strong, Public Information Specialist with the City of Chattanooga, has volunteered through the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce in Hamilton County schools for over seven years and is 2018-19 Volunteer of the Year. Chattanooga Trend caught up with Strong on her favorite parts of volunteering.  

Trend: What inspired you to become a Public Information Specialist?

Strong: The inspiration behind my career choice has been being able to work with our community. I really love working with our diverse community and educating them on a particular subject matter. Whether it was during my time as our City’s Recycling Coordinator to my current position as a Public Information Specialist – I have had the pleasure of being in community outreach my entire career.  

Trend: Is there a career accomplishment/accolade that is particularly meaningful to you?

Strong: Although I have received several accolades over my career with the City of Chattanooga, the most recent accomplishment that I am humbled by is my appointment as Chairman over the Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the American Public Works Association, and being a session speaker for PWX which is American Public Works’ national conference.

Trend: Why have you chosen to volunteer with Chamber programs?

Strong: I wanted to seize the opportunity to give back to the school system that did so much for me and afforded me with opportunities at an early age that I still incorporate into my career to this day. 

I want to continue to seek out those opportunities so I can be of service and pass on skill sets that I have to assist our youth and adults. I’m really grateful when I receive a phone call from someone whom I met during an event, asking for further guidance.

Trend: Why should others volunteer with these programs?

Strong: I think everyone should take the opportunity to volunteer with the programs offered through the Chamber of Commerce if their schedule allows. It gives you such a sense of pride to be able to give back to the community and it doesn’t cost you one cent. The opportunity is priceless and it impacts students’ lives. 

The Chamber staff does an incredible job of training every volunteer, which gives you more confidence to do a successful job. 

Trend: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Strong: I would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for being the vessel for programming that has allowed me to do something that I have always been so passionate about and that is volunteering. My earliest memory of being a good volunteer came from the late Mrs. Catherine Jackson. She was my elementary school teacher at Orchard Knob Elementary School. Those skills she taught me back then are still embedded in me to this day. Lastly – a quote from Sherry Anderson: 'Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.'


For more information on how to get involved in supporting local education, email Mattie Moran at [email protected].

Other Topics

If you were to take a quick survey of national headlines, you’d encounter gloom and doom-type discussions around commercial real estate. Much of this is thanks to the popularity of remote work, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.   As…

Protege Chattanooga is a nine-month program that matches early-to-mid-career professionals with a red-carpet list of regional leaders. The end goal? Unforgettable connection among young professionals paired with a viable, noteworthy mentorship with real-world leaders.   It's all by design, as the…

To coincide with Earth Day weekend, Leadership Chattanooga's 40th annual class made history, spending the day doing what had never been done in program history.  One giant day of service.   Some 40 members of the 2023/2024 graduating class split into…

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Small Business Awards sheds a light on local companies that serve as examples of excellence within our community and help us build a thriving Chattanooga. This week, we announced our winners at the…

When people hear the news – Melody Shekari was named the new head of the Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga – they often say the same thing:  She's a perfect fit.  "A lot of people say it fits who I…

On April 18, Fleurette Fitch – a 21-year employee of Shaw Industries – was honored at a Washington DC gala for her outstanding manufacturing career. That evening, the Manufacturing Institute recognized Fitch as a Women MAKE Award honoree for her…

Sign up for weekly updates.