VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – SARAH TOLSON by Megan Maynard
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – SARAH TOLSON
By Megan Maynard
Although she and her husband Tyler have lived in Florida just shy of 5 years, they have both become highly involved in STPS. Sarah was previously a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher but is currently a Learning Specialist at a local skilled nursing facility. Sarah shares that her introduction to STPS was during a date night with Tyler. He had scheduled a Turtle Walk for their evening. While watching the nesting loggerhead, Sarah states she was “instantly hooked.”
As proof, she is acting Volunteer Coordinator and has expanded her role during her 3 years as a member. She oversees the STPS newsletter, Instagram, as well as the Loggerhead Lowdown blog. With today’s heavy use of social media, she has diligently worked to update and keep STPS present on social media platforms. With much effort she redesigned the organization’s website and oversees the webmasters. In the field she is permitted on STPS walks, participates in STERP (sea turtle emergency response program), and turtle transport. (Did she mention she was hooked?)
With such a busy schedule she is able to stay motivated knowing the turtles rely on the organization’s efforts. Being able to educate and reach out to the public, volunteers, or would-be volunteers is also rewarding. To date her greatest achievement has been establishing the Volunteer Information Center (VIC), setup online, to keep Volunteers informed, and to more easily stay involved. Given the former “technological” challenges, she is quite pleased with the progress made.
Sarah is excited to share that there are many exciting things to come including new updates to the website and moving Loggerhead Lowdown Blog to the new site. She is also excited about new opportunities for volunteers. Sarah would encourage any eager volunteers to “jump right in” and find the role you’re passionate about but cautions to not overtask yourself. One of the easiest ways to learn how to help is to attend a free training (such as Turtle Talk) and appreciate the importance of sea turtle conservation.