|John Armstrong , Environmental Volunteers|
Serving his country has always been important to John Armstrong. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Then he spent six years in the U.S. Army on the east-west German border and later managed financial operations for the military in Colorado.
Armstrong went on to earn his M.B.A. and worked for a decade as a financial analyst in the corporate sector. He got the itch to serve those in need again and took a two-year break from his position at the Hewlett Packard Company to join the Peace Corps. He was placed in Slovakia and used his expertise in the business world to provide essential marketing support to a developing nation.
Armstrong returned to his career at Hewlett-Packard (HP) and continued his community involvement as a tutor and mentor at a local high school. He left HP in his early 50s and volunteered for the Alliance for Climate Protection after being inspired by watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Eventually, he decided to leave HP permanently to focus on two issues that had become an abiding concern for him: the well-being of children, particularly children in poverty, and the implications of climate change.
While focused on education and environmental work as his next career direction, Armstrong was unsure about what to do and where to work. He needed to test the waters. The Silicon Valley Encore Fellows program offered him the opportunity to combine his two passions at Environmental Volunteers, a nonprofit that helps teach elementary school students to live more sustainably.
“When I heard about this opportunity to be an Encore Fellow for a year at an organization, especially an environmental organization, it was a no-brainer. It took me a nanosecond to decide,” he explains.
Finding his niche through the fellowship, Armstrong says he “rolled up his sleeves,” helping with big-picture strategy and communications tools to support the organization’s mission. His fellowship has led to a full-time position at Environmental Volunteers as the Collaboration Projects Manager.
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