One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) has created the Member Highlight Corner as a way to showcase active members. This month’s highlighted member is Maisie Thompson, also an employee of OEF. She is our Community Outreach Coordinator and also the first official Member of OEF. Below is our interview with Ms. Thompson: coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe"
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<p><strong>Tell us how you first became involved with OEF?</strong></p>
<p>Back in 2011, while employed with the Cancer Society Eleuthera branch is when I first heard learned about the One Eleuthera Foundation and its great work. <br /> At that time, One Eleuthera Foundation was giving support to the Cancer Society in many ways. Later, OEF was very instrumental in coordinating a team from Emory University by connecting them to the Cancer Society. It was through this relationship that I was privileged to work along with Emory students to facilitate a needs assessment survey throughout the island. The questionnaire was based on learning the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of Eleuthera’s female population relating to breast cancer and the services that are offered at the local Cancer Society. The collected data revealed that there was a need for a trusted messenger to take breast cancer awareness into the communities and hence, the start of a wonderful service.</p>
<p><strong>What was your first impression of OEF?</strong></p>
<p>I was very impressed when I learned of all the wonderful initiatives One Eleuthera was doing within the community. I was drawn in specifically by the great support that was offered to our local Cancer Society and the cancer community at large. They embodied the words STRENGTHENING and CONNECTING.</p>
<p><strong>What do you value most about your membership with OEF?</strong></p>
<p>I am happy to be a part of an organization that is doing so many amazing things for the people of our communities. I feel that by being a member and making the small financial contribution, I am also a part of POSITIVE CHANGE in our island. </p>
<p><strong>What was your first memory of working/volunteering with OEF?</strong></p>
<p>I like that OEF operates with excellence and everyone was so coordinated and willing to help each other with each of the projects.</p>
<p><strong>What’s the best thing to happen since you became a member of OEF?</strong></p>
<p>The best thing to happen to me has been the chance to grow professionally and personally. Through my membership, I have had the opportunity to attend awesome workshops and meet persons who shared their expertise and mentored me. The fact that I am now employed by OEF gives me the opportunity to give back. I love bring awareness to and working on breast cancer initiatives. It gives me the opportunity to reach out and makes me want to do much more to educate people about breast cancer and help in prevention and early detection. Being a member of OEF has been very rewarding.</p>
<p><strong>What do you wish other people knew about OEF?</strong></p>
<p>I wish persons knew that they too can play a role in this great movement. Their support, whether it be through membership, donations, volunteering, whatever it is, it will help to build and further develop our own communities. </p>
<p><strong>Why are you a member of OEF?</strong></p>
<p>Because I believe in the causes and the initiatives of OEF and think it’s a credible organization that tries  to improve conditions for persons in my local community. </p>
<p><strong>Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with OEF?</strong></p>
<p>Cancer patients and survivors really standout to me. I have since started up a cancer support group which has been gratifying to both the survivors and myself. I have had the opportunity to be exposed to Susan G Komen, an internationally known cancer organization which partially funds the work that I do. I have met countless other professionals, both internationally and locally who have aided this work. (Emory University, Cancer Society, Sister Sister, Lynn Dobson and countless others.) All have played a huge role in my development as Outreach Coordinator.</p>
<p><strong>What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs as a member of OEF?</strong></p>
<p>OEF is a community minded organization and very passionate about helping people and helping to connect and strength other nonprofit organizations. I believe in the work of One Eleuthera.</p>
<p><strong>What might someone be surprised to know about you?</strong></p>
<p>Although my role requires me to speak to people a lot, I am actually very shy.</p>
<p><strong>What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating, volunteering, or becoming a member of OEF?</strong></p>
<p>I would tell them that it would be a great investment and that they would become a part of greatness in the making. They would feel a great part of what is happening through One Eleuthera and its partners by helping to grow and to build our community.</p>
<p><strong>What do you think will change about OEF over the next five years?</strong></p>
<p>Well, because the organization is still very young, I would like to see it expand more and become a better-known, household name for all Eleutherans and the wider Bahamas.</p>
<p>Persons interested in becoming a member of One Eleuthera please check out: <a href=www.oneeleuthera.org/join-us