Meet John Owens!
How did you first become involved with Swift Youth Foundation?
I started volunteering with Swift in high school, when I heard about it through friends in the Jewish Community. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and helped both as a counselor during summer sessions and at Swift after school programming.
Why did you decide to more deeply support Swift and join the Swift Board?
In the decade or so that I have been involved with the organization, it has always held a special and important place in my heart. During that span I have been given the opportunity to hold a number of different leadership roles throughout the organization, each reinforcing how important Swift is to me. A couple of years ago I started having conversations with Kaylie about the process for joining the board because I wanted to continue making an impact, but in ways suited life after college. I found new ways to get involved and am so thrilled to continue my involvement in a way that can help the organization grow.
When talking about Swift, what are you most excited to tell others about?
There are two things that I always mention with Swift – how much it shaped me as a person and how exciting it is to see so many participants cite Swift as a reason for the success. Swift helped shape me into a person who is passionate about serving his community in a number of ways, not the least of which is that it opened my eyes to how much work there is to do. It showed me that one person can make an impact and that a group of dedicated people can change thousands of lives. I also always mention that Swift is a program that actually works – we have dedicated volunteers who were once campers and are now giving back their communities. They’re in college or have graduated and are changing their communities for the better and some of the reason why is Swift.
What is your favorite Swift program and why?
It’s tough to choose because I have seen so many over the years, but I think that my favorite is Swift after school. It builds excitement for the summer programs, maintains year-round support for our participants, and helps demonstrate value to the community. It’s also a great way for our high school volunteers to interact with Swift year-round.
At Camp Swift, are you Team Grilled Cheese or Team Tomato Soup?
I’ll answer via a famous, definitely not at all made up quote from George Washington:
“Human happiness and grilled cheese are inseparably connected”
More about John...
He is currently a Downtown Redevelopment Specialist for the City of Chandler, Arizona, where he works to accelerate Downtown Chandler's growth and redevelopment. He was also a member of the 2017 Valley Leadership Advance cohort, a program for emerging leaders in Greater Phoenix.
John is an avid sports fan, huge car guy, urban policy nerd, Valley evangelist. He lives in Mike’s old house in Phoenix with his partner Haleigh and their cat, Sniffles. John is a determined adventurer – he’s played semi-professional tackle football in Tel Aviv, spent a month traversing the United States in his car, spent two summers living on Catalina Island, and is always looking for more.
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Swift Youth Foundation