Interview by Hannah Sprouse
Holli Houseworth is a proud KidCoach at Future Possibilities, a nonprofit organization that helps children understand their importance and impact on the world. She’s also a single mother of two and the Director of Operations at Cloud Cover, an IT service firm in Northwest Columbus. She shares her influence each week as a coach for Cristal through Future Possibilities while she teaches her son and daughter how lucky they are to be in a position to help others. All in all, the opportunity to be a source of positivity in the community – and personally with each child she coaches – is what motivates Holli. At this rate, Holli is giving Wonder Woman a run for her money!
Give us a snapshot of your career path: I graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Textile Science. My career began in Interior Design where I helped build several design programs for various companies looking to expand their businesses. I have experience in managing and running small family owned businesses and larger corporate run companies. After 15 years in the design business, I decided to transition into management and operations. I made the transition into IT because of the opportunity that was presented to me with Cloud Cover, an IT service firm. I have been the Director of Operations for 2 years and I love the challenges and different aspects of IT operations. I truly appreciate my team and the clients that we support.
What led you to become involved with Future Possibilities? How long have you been involved & what does the organization mean to you? I had been researching local organizations to volunteer more of my time with. I volunteer for a couple of different charities and local groups but I really wanted to play more of a role in an organization that I could be truly passionate about. I found Future Possibilities through a friend of mine that is a volunteer and a board member. I knew I wanted to volunteer but there was also the opportunity to interview for a position on their board of directors. I was elected to the board in June and became part of the marketing committee. I love being on the board and be able to make a positive impact for the organization and work to positively promote all of the good that FP does for children in our community. But what I really enjoy is the time I get to spend with Cristal, the student that I have been paired with to coach. I look forward to working with her weekly and it is such a fun and uplifting part of my week.
What do you want everyone to know about Future Possibilities? There are so many organizations in Central Ohio that work with children, but I think Future Possibilities is really unique in how they help kids in under-served areas. Our mission is to help children learn how to make good decisions that can lead a positive impact in their lives and in their community. Our “KidCoaches” help their student set a goal for themselves to achieve throughout the school year. We help our students strategize and come up with realistic, attainable and achievable steps to succeed and accomplish their goal.
My student, Cristal has chosen to raise money for a local animal shelter because she is passionate about animals and hopes to be able to rescue a dog for her family.
I love that we can help kids learn that they can make an impact on the world, no matter what their situation is.
What is the one thing you are most passionate about? I want to be a positive role model for my daughter and my son. We are so lucky to have what we have as a family. In the days of immediate gratification and getting everything you want, I want them to see how fortunate we are to be in the position to help others. I want them to grow up appreciating what they have and understanding that giving back is a way to show gratitude.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?My 2 children, Emily and Ian are always my motivation for everything I do. My desire to provide a happy and healthy life for them keeps me going and striving to do my best every day. I love my job, my team and truly enjoy what I do so that certainly makes getting through the workweek easy.
Who inspires you? My mom is my biggest inspiration. She was a single mom and a very strong, successful business woman. She worked so hard to provide a great life for my sister and me. Now that I am a single mom, I understand how much she sacrificed for us every day. She is the reason I know I can raise my children successfully and have an amazing career even when the challenges seem overwhelming.
How is Future Possibilities making an impact in Columbus? How can people get involved with the organization? We currently have about 80 volunteers that are actively “KidCoaching” in the Columbus City School District. We would like to expand our reach and help even more children. In order to do that, we need more volunteers that want to actively be involved with coaching. Future Possibilities makes it easy to volunteer your time. With a full time, career and active kids, volunteering my time is sometimes a challenge, as it is for so many people. Our coaches meet once a week at lunch time with their kids throughout the school year. We also accept financial contributions to support our organization.
What’s the most exciting thing about Columbus right now? I think it’s exciting that Columbus is a large city with so many opportunities for local businesses to succeed. Columbus is growing and thriving and so many of our residents understand the benefit to keeping it local and I love that about our city.
What are three things that you wish Columbus had?
1) More waterfront dining.
2) Dance clubs that start playing music earlier for those of us who still like to dance but appreciate an early bed time.
3) An amusement park with giant roller coasters so we don’t have to drive to Sandusky or Cincinnati.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them? I would say innovative and cultured. We have so much innovation happening, and an abundance of cultural flavor to enjoy in our great city.
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