INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Any given day, you can walk in to Umpqua Bank in Incline Village and run into numerous associates who volunteer their time to the community. These associates may spend time at one of the local schools, at the Boys and Girls Club or any of the other nonprofit organizations in North Lake Tahoe. If you're lucky, you may meet Cory Swank.Swank moved to Incline Village from the Central Valley in November 2010, shortly after Umpqua Bank purchased Nevada Security Bank. It was around that time that Swank became more involved in the bank's Connect Volunteer Network, a program that provides full time associates for 40 hours of community service a year.In 2011, Swank completed 120 hours of community service.“Last year I went way above and beyond, but I will continue to because it's so rewarding,” Swank said of his impressive year of volunteering.While Swank can be found volunteering at numerous organizations, he spends much of his time working with children in the local schools.“A lot of it goes back to helping out the kids. Education is my No. 1 focus, and that's what I find very fulfilling,” Swank added. He's worked in local schools in North Tahoe and the surrounding area, helping with homework or teaching children the basics of money management and banking. “The kids just say the darndest things,” Swank said of his numerous trips to schools. “I had a third grader grill me once on FDIC insurance and the ins and outs of the stock market and all sorts of stuff most of my clients don't even grasp. The most astute third grader I've ever met.” Swank added that while the children get the most of out the volunteering, he learns and grows from the experiences as well. “Being able to see you're making some sort of difference is important to me. It's that unknown word, that feeling you get. It's hard to explain.” One program Swank works with on a routine basis is the Incline After-School Organization, a free program for children (K-12) that offers a variety of activities, from kayaking and knitting to a homework club. Soon after Swank moved to Incline Village, he began volunteering his time to the after school program, alongside Chris Laramore.“Cory and I hit it off right away,” Laramore said of first meeting Swank through the bank. Laramore explained to Swank what Incline After-School Organization was, and soon they were volunteering and working together to expand the program.“When Cory and I took over, the attendance went up significantly. It was a great thing — we both had a lot of fun doing it,” Laramore added. The duo took the program, which originally began as indoor soccer after school, and increased it to offer numerous outdoor activities, including mountain biking and snow sports, as well as academic help. As someone who wanted to be a teacher, Swank found enjoyment in helping the children with homework.“It was amazing to see the transformation of the kids, finally getting it and no longer being left behind the curb,” Swank said. “That was something really important to me. It's always good to see the impact of your volunteering.”Both Swank and Laramore continue to volunteer their time to the after-school program, as well as taking part in the iCANtahoe 2012 Summer Series and working on other initiatives for the future, including working with local schools to use green energy. “(Cory's) the kind of guy you want to have. Someone who steps in and sees something that needs to be done and asks ‘what can I do?'” Laramore said. “He's upbeat and positive. The main thing is to surround the children with positive, supportive people and to set goals. I couldn't have asked for a better person to work with than Cory.”With summer fast approaching, Swank has a calendar full of events he plans to volunteer his time for. There's the iCANtahoe 2012 Summer Series, events at the e-Learning Cafe and with the morning Rotary Club, Incline's Relay for Life and countless other events and organizations that will be touched by Swank. “I will way shatter my 120 hours from last year. There's no way I can't,” Swank said of his busy summer schedule. “It's become a part of who I am.” To talk to Umpqua Bank or Swank about getting involved with nonprofit organizations and volunteering in North Tahoe, email Cory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Your Neighbor: Cory Swank — going above and beyond to volunteer his time
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