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Volunteer Spotlight

Recognizing the Poly Fund volunteerism of Charles Nelson P ’23, ’28 and
Annie Deng P ’25, ’27.


Charles Nelson P ’23, ’28

Charles’s contributions to the Poly Fund have earned him the esteemed role of chairing our Leadership Committee. His steadfast commitment to the Poly Fund has spanned several years, brightening our phonathons with his wonderful energy. Charles’s ability to galvanize our community members into becoming active donors and volunteers is a testament to his magnetic presence and persuasive advocacy.


Charles describes his involvement with fundraising at Poly as being deeply rooted in his own educational experiences growing up in New Zealand, where he witnessed firsthand the direct impact that philanthropy can have on student life. Recognizing the profound effect that fundraising can have on Poly’s community, Charles was inspired to give back to the school that has meant so much to his family: “Having just seen our older son graduate, I firmly believe in Poly’s ability to guide students toward successful college placements and understand the essential role that parent volunteers and fundraisers play in supporting this mission.”


To ensure that the school remains in good stead, Charles encourages all Poly parents to participate: “Volunteering at Poly has not only allowed me to get involved with a lot of passionate and highly motivated people but also helps raise money for scholarships and financial aid for those who couldn’t otherwise afford a Poly education. That is a great motivator. Whether you want to sit on a committee or help on Giving Day or join the Panther Club, whatever it is, just get involved!”


Annie Deng P ’25, ’27

Annie’s journey as a dedicated volunteer at Poly has been nothing short of inspiring. From her start at one of our phonathon events on campus, Annie’s dedication shone through as she swiftly moved to a quieter part of the library, where she went on a hot streak of securing donations that left everyone in awe. As Associate Director of Annual Giving Connie Garcia says, “No one could keep up with Annie.” Her unparalleled enthusiasm caught the attention of the Poly Fund Team, who recognized her potential to contribute year-round. Event after event, Annie became a dynamic fundraising force, eventually ascending to the role of Upper School Parent Committee Chair.


Annie’s skillset as a highly effective communicator, collaborator, and leader was particularly evident during the most recent Giving Day, when she played a pivotal role in showcasing the importance of the Poly Fund to the wider community. According to Annie, building positive and productive relationships across campus is central to her motivation: “Being new to the community, I wanted to find a place where I can foster relationships with people with whom I share a common goal of enriching the Poly experience. Together, we are investing in future generations and ensuring that our efforts continue to have an impact on upgrading our facilities, increasing financial aid opportunities, and expanding access to quality education and resources.”


For those considering joining our ranks as Poly volunteers but who may be afraid of making phone calls to strangers or taking on too many obligations, Annie has a simple message that resonates: “DON’T BE. We are a team that will help you through it and clarify any questions you may have. Showing up is a great start! Please come out to our meetings, and it will be fun just to meet you!”

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