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Volunteer of the Month: Roopa

This month’s honored volunteer is Roopa Srinivasa Rao. After growing up in India, Roopa left the comforts of home and the security of her career in order to join her husband in America. Roopa explained that the transition from India to America was hard and strange at times because everything is different, from the people to the weather. One of the most difficult aspects of Roopa’s new life in Tennessee is filling her time while she waits for a work visa. In India, Roopa worked as a financial analyst for JP Morgan and Chase. Although Roopa’s volunteer work involves an entirely different skillset from finances, she loves the new knowledge and skills that she has learned through her experiences in non-profit work. Roopa said, “Volunteering helps me to develop skills, learn more about career options, make friends, spend time, build confidence, and even just shake up my routine.”

Roopa volunteers with a non-profit called Book ‘Em, whose mission is to provide underprivileged children with books of their own. Since its foundation in 1989, Book ‘Em has donated over one million books to various schools, camps, and programs throughout Middle Tennessee. When Roopa first visited Book ‘Em, she was immediately drawn in by their mission of helping all children have equal opportunities to own books. Additionally, Roopa wanted to serve a group that welcomes and appreciates their volunteers. Roopa described working at Book ‘Em like working with family in a very comfortable, uplifting environment.

Roopa explained that when it comes to volunteering, she has extra time in this season of her life. Therefore, she wants to do what she can to help others and become more connected to her new home. Volunteering provides Roopa with an outlet to meet other people’s needs, learn new skills, and expand her own network in an uplifting environment. She encourages others to get involved in their communities and always strive to gain knowledge through their experiences.


Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a program of Doing Good, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization which educates and inspires people by celebrating the real stories of real people who volunteer. For additional information about Roopa, Doing Good, or other volunteers, visit the website www.DoingGood.tv or @DoingGoodTV on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube.

Allison Plattsmier (formerly Quintanilla) is a Nashville native who grew up with the nickname Quesadilla and was asked, almost on a daily basis, how someone who is Hispanic could be THAT pale. Allison is quite the workaholic but don’t worry, she’s recently narrowed down her number of jobs from 7 to 4….progress is progress. When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her friends or hanging at home with her husband, Kris, and her two cats Sheena and Jacinda. She is an Escape Game fanatic and has successfully broken out of every Escape Game the Escape Game Nashville has to offer (come at me bro). She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with trivia and has seen every chick flick you can imagine. A student in Vanderbilt's Community Development and Action program, Allison has a passion for service and bringing people together for a common purpose.
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