We would like to take a moment to introduce Heart's newest volunteer, Gina Rood-Ojalvo.
Serving as an Executive Assistant to our Executive Director, Gina has already made an impact in the short time she has been involved with Heart to Heart. She is directly overseeing the website redesign project, and has been a key resource in our strategic planning work. Gina is eager to continue helping wherever the team can use her. We want to welcome and thank her for her energy. We look forward to working with Gina!
How did Gina get involved with Heart to Heart you might ask?
As a fairly recent transplant to the east coast, Gina reached out to Heart to Heart to help establish roots in her new community. She spent her formative years continually moving between homes, schools, cities, and states. The transience and instability heavily impacted her sense of belonging. “My litmus test for feeling settled after every major move became: do I have a library card and am I actively helping my new community thrive.”
Gina was initially drawn to Heart to Heart because of their focus on teaching the core skills of mindfulness, empathy, decision-making, and conflict transformation. "The mission and values of the organization resonated with me. I saw quite a bit of overlap between Heart to Heart’s programs and my personal values of compassion, curiosity, and perseverance."
Gina deeply appreciates that Heart to Heart recognizes the need to make these core skills accessible not just to those who have been incarcerated, but to families, schools, and communities.
As a way to learn more about Heart to Heart’s programs, Gina recently completed the eight week Heart to Heart Families program. “I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to participate, to learn, and to practice in a safe and supportive environment. I was able to walk away from every session with a new communication tool or skill that I could immediately apply in my daily life.” She is eager to continue to learn about Heart to Heart’s programs and help support the continued growth of the organization.
Gina resides in Haddonfield, NJ with her husband and two daughters. They have a seven year old cat named Kevin and a tiny dog named Milo, whose age they have yet to discover. She works full time as a Process Consultant for a transportation and logistics company. Gina has also been involved with Hopeworks Camden, a technology and job training program for Camden and Philadelphia youth. When she’s not enjoying time with her family, volunteering, or working, you can find her reading, practicing yoga, or cycling.