Since childhood, Chava Boyett, a Senior Manager on the agency’s Customer Development team, was shown the importance of helping others and getting involved within local communities. In 1984, her late father, Ralph Nesson, co-founded the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, which is still thriving today and has provided over $30 million in scholarships statewide.
So, signing up for a Martian Mission was a no-brainer for her. “Since my dad was a philanthropist, it’s always been in my values to give back. This was a chance to live out those values and carry out the work he started.”
A significant facet of The Mars Agency’s Start Small initiative, Martian Missions is an opportunity for employees to take time to immerse themselves in a cause of their choice. The committee overseeing employee proposals aims to have at least 50% of the hours dedicated to missions focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. So when Chava was creating her proposal, she thought, “What is more inclusive than welcoming refugees back to our country?”
To support the many communities in which we operate, we created the Start Small volunteering initiative. The goal is to gain 100% employee participation across the program’s four pillars:
- Quarterly events hosted by our local offices;
- Global Citizenship Day, an agency-wide day dedicated to volunteering;
- Individual personal volunteer days;
- And Martian Missions, in which employees like Chava and Nidhi Mehra are allocated up to 160 hours of paid work time to volunteer with a specific cause.
For her mission, Chava identified Canopy Northwest Arkansas, a refugee resettlement agency. Canopy’s vision is to safely welcome and resettle migrants in their new home of Northwest Arkansas, while also equipping them to become financially self-sufficient. During her service with Canopy, Chava assisted with moving furniture donations, helped refugees with transportation to appointments, and provided English as a Second Language training to an immigrant family.
That family was Mary Kapotwe, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (pictured with Chava, at right), and her four children. Chava met with them weekly, bringing books and games for the children and Burlington English training tools for Mary to help prepare her for the job application process.
Although Chava has completed her service, the relationship she built with the family continues. Reflecting on the work of her late father and the mission of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship, Chava noted, “He was caring for single mothers and I was able to carry that on through working with this family.”
At a Canopy event one day, Chava met another volunteer who commended her ability to use work time to get involved with the local community. Chava’s message to fellow Martians? “Seize the opportunity you have working for a company that wants you to give back now! Pick a mission that resonates with you the most and help out in your community.”
At The Mars Agency, our mission is to make a positive impact across a “Triple Bottom Line” that seeks growth for our clients, growth for our people, and growth for our community.