“Philanthropy is about this incredible opportunity that every person has to reach a very pure part of themselves. It’s a part that avoids self-interest, it’s a part that heals and inspires, and it’s the part that represents the best in all of humanity. Philanthropy, in all of its forms, is what makes us uniquely and proudly human.
Aeriel Halstead is the Positive Change Trailblazer for Professionals in Philanthropy. She manages the social media networks; assists with marketing and facilitation; provides energy and creativity; and serves as a storytelling expert. nnIf you were to ask Aeriel to describe herself, she might list some standard facts. She is the second oldest of 5 children, and has lived in the same house her entire life. She will be receiving two degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies in December, 2015 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and she is a proud (but humble) member of the UNLV Honors College. She has a brown-belt in Tae Kwon Do, which she’s frequently used on her younger siblings. And if you catch her on a really honest day, she might tell you she loves chocolate but hates exercise (which may spell trouble in her 30s); prefers sweat pants to any other form of clothing; and has a love affair with her ’94 Toyota Pickup who she calls “Big Daddy,” (an oxymoron if you ever see him). That might be what she tells you, but there’s a lot more that she would hope to show you.nnAeriel is incredibly passionate about helping others. It was the passion that fueled her interest in the nonprofit sector, and the passion that sent her running to the PiP team where she saw the potential for her desired impact to be realized. She’s fundamentally interested in people—in their concerns, their hopes and their well-being—and it’s that fundamental investment she hopes to communicate. Whether she’s talking to a stranger in passing, assisting a friend, volunteering for an event, or committing to a lifetime of professional service to others, she just wants that caring to be expressed. That goal has led to some very specific life decisions for Aeriel.nnAfter graduating as valedictorian from Del Sol High School, Aeriel was offered a number of full-ride scholarships and a number of career paths. She chose to stay at UNLV because she loves this community, and she chose to pursue a career with Professionals in Philanthropy because she loves the good that they do. Aeriel had always enjoyed volunteering in church, serving as the volunteer coordinator for various clubs, MC’ing for the UNLV Rebel Relay for Life, and making speaking appearances for various nonprofit organizations. When she learned that you could spend your career dedicated to making a measurable impact in others’ lives, she didn’t hesitate to sign on with the PiP team in spite of numerous job offers in the business, law, and information technology sectors. Aeriel is a simple girl with a simple dream: to leave this world better than she found it.nnHere at PiP, we couldn’t be more enthused to have her energy, passion, and creativity added to the team. No one chooses the title “Positive Change Trailblazer,” without being the sort of person who leaves a positive mark on the people she works with. She doesn’t hope to be famous, she doesn’t want to be rich. Her youngest sister, Jennifer, has given her the title of “Best Big Sister in the World”, and if she could live to that for Jenny, and the larger human family, she would consider her life a success. As a fantastic new member to our team, PiP is proud to say that she’s already well on her way.