Volunteer Spotlight: Francesca D’Alessandro

Francesca at GiGi’s NYC 10th Annual Gala
with her Volunteer Champion Award!

GiGi’s NYC is excited to introduce one of our amazing volunteers, Francesca. She has been volunteering with us for over a year now, and has been an invaluable asset to our team. She has co-emceed our Fashion Show, attended our 10th Anniversary Gala as a Special Guest where she was awarded a Volunteer Champion Award, and she currently volunteers in one of our communication, advocacy and empowerment programs. Francesca is warm, caring, and kind and her dedication to our community is evident in all that she does. We are so grateful to have her as part of our team. Thank you for all that you do for our community, Francesca! Read below to learn more about her:

How and when did you first get involved with GiGi’s NYC?  

My introduction to GiGi’s NYC was through instagram. I found their posts on my “for you” page and knew immediately I wanted to spend more time getting to know the GiGi’s NYC community. During my time as Miss Metropolitan with the Miss America Organization, I spent many weekends and events volunteering my time because I love the shared mission of empowering the Down syndrome community. I came to the first event and was immediately hooked. 

    Why did you decide to volunteer with GiGi’s NYC?  

    As a former Miss America titleholder, I wanted to partner with an organization that resonated with my advocacy goals. GiGi’s NYC offers a variety of well-thought, organized, and executed programing that reaches not only our youth, but adults with Down syndrome within the community at no cost to families. Volunteering with GiGi’s NYC felt even more important and special knowing that I was creating valuable experiences with my own community here in NYC. I felt beyond honored to receive the Champion Award for volunteering my time over the past year at the 10th annual gala.  

      What does GiGi’s NYC mean to you?  

      GiGi’s NYC means having a family and community who is supportive and encouraging throughout all obstacles. Everyone has shown me such kindness and positive energy each time we reconnect. I am blessed and grateful for the staff, families, and volunteers who have been a part of my volunteer experience this past year.  

        What do you do as a volunteer?  

        There have been a few different volunteer experiences I have been apart of over the last year. Aside from karaoke and craft events, one of my favorite programs are the Leaders in Communication workshops with New York University. There, I apply my knowledge and skills of being a Speech-Language Pathologist to assist in educating and empowering the Down syndrome community. Additionally, having the opportunity to volunteer and emcee the annual fashion show was a highlight of my year. It was a blast to cheer all of the models down the runway!  

          What have you learned as a volunteer? How have you been impacted by being a volunteer?  

          GiGi’s NYC has impacted my life by creating a strong and supportive community here in NYC. I have loved meeting and working with all of the families, individuals, and staff members who make all of this possible. I have learned that everyone has their own strengths and unique talents that they bring to the table. Our world is a better place when we encourage our community to be their authentic selves and celebrate diversity. 

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