John Spanczak recently joined our team at United Way of East Central Iowa as our Manager of the Youth Achievement AmeriCorps Program. Get to know him by reading his responses below.
I grew up in Illinois, but have lived in Iowa for the last five years or so. I have a bachelor’s degree in social work from The University of Iowa and a master’s degree in social work from St. Ambrose University. My work experience has been primarily in the health care field. I have worked at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and most recently, I worked at UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital.
I love spending time with my wife and new puppy outdoors by going hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. I also enjoy playing board games, cards, volleyball, and softball.
What is something unique that people don’t know about you?
I love to travel. I have been to nearly 20 different countries, and actually met my wife while we were both volunteering in Cuenca, Ecuador.
What do you love most about working at United Way?
I get the opportunity to work alongside wonderful people who are passionate about making a difference in our community.
What is your biggest accomplishment or something you are most proud of?
This last year has been a culmination of multiple accomplishments and successes. I completed my graduate degree, was married, bought a home, and landed my dream job working for United Way.
What is some of the best advice you have received?
My father always told me, “You get what you give.” This is a lyric from a song by New Radicals, and it holds true to this day. My father explained he only ever wanted good things for me, and I needed to give my best so I could be my best.
Add a personal note or quote.
A quote from Margaret Mead that has always inspired me: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of dedicated citizens to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Please describe your speaking engagements or publications from the last 12 months.
Last May, I presented at the 2015 Social Justice Conference held in Davenport, IA. I spoke on the topic of Exploring the Relationship Between the Body and the Environment: Epigenetic Influences.