Drums to Dreams

 Volunteer of the Year, Eden Corbitt, behind a drum set.

Volunteer of the Year, Eden Corbitt, behind a drum set.

Between work, family, friends, hobbies and more, it can sometimes feel impossible to find time for anything else in our schedules. Still, many of the wonderful organizations and programs that local communities use exist on a volunteer basis. How – and more importantly, why – is a question that some dedicated volunteers may get about juggling everything in their life as they make precious little time to give back.

There is a huge range of reasons to volunteer your free time to a cause, and the Mayo Clinic has even identified 6 health benefits. We here at Omaha Girls Rock recognize that all of our achievements are founded on the generous and skilled volunteers we work with every day. We wanted to give a platform to our Volunteer of the Year, Eden Corbitt, to give some insights on how she came across OGR, what she does, and why she stays.

She heard about OGR’s summer camp last spring and decided she’d give it a go.

“I’ve secretly always wanted to combine my love of music with teaching, but was never given an opportunity like this one,” Eden explained. “All of a sudden, I was standing in a classroom with Susan Hendrick, a white board and 6 girls on drums, and I was in heaven!”

Eden said that first week was the highlight of her whole season. Connection and education were at the heart of her camp experience.

 Students and Eden gathered for a fabulous, smile-filled selfie.

Students and Eden gathered for a fabulous, smile-filled selfie.

“There were a lot of laughs, several selfies taken and many new friendships created; but beyond all the good times, somewhere along the way the young drummers of Classroom 11 learned and perfected 5 different songs in 4 days,” Eden said. “The feeling of accomplishment and pride that could visibly be seen through their wide smiles and bright eyes is why I joined Omaha Girls Rock.”

The effects of a dedicated volunteer ripple through their organization, and OGR staff recognize this in Eden. Program Director Kat Ludwick believes Eden’s positive outlook fostered the growth that she saw in her campers. A caring mentor is intrinsic to the self-confidence and advocacy skills that our students and campers learn.

“I love hearing her say, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ because it reminds you that it's a lot easier to get things accomplished, be brave, try new things, be successful, or even to fail and learn when you have someone or some folks next to you who are invested,” Kat said.

Eden has a lot of qualities that help make her an ideal mentor and friend.

“She 100% creates that strength, support, and accountability, and that is something that is intrinsically important to Omaha Girls Rock and our mission and vision,” Kat said.  “She's incredibly talented. If you would like the most genuine, full-on, embracing hug that will give you life, Eden is your person. Everything she does is full of love and passion, from her work, her music, and her interaction with campers and students.”

While we owe much to Eden, she’s by far not the only volunteer who has made an impact in their work. Click here to see a comprehensive list of folks who have contributed their time with us before. If you are a former or current volunteer, thank you for building up your community. If you are interested in working alongside Eden, Kat, and the rest of the OGR team, read more about positions available here and fill out our volunteer application form that’s open year-round.