A native of Arkansas, Brandy Donaldson came to the Quad Cities looking for something different. "I moved to the Quad-Cities almost 8 years ago with no expectation of making this my home,” says Donaldson. "To my pleasant surprise, I found a vibrant area with much to offer. This community immediately embraced me and infused me with a spirit of growth and prosperity.”

She continues, "It was September when I got here. Quickly after I arrived, it started snowing—which I was unfamiliar with. So that was a big shock to me.”

Donaldson, an honoree for 2015 YP of the Year at the May 28 Community Impact Awards, credits the Quad Cities with helping her unlock her desire to serve. "You know the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ Donaldson asks. "Well, it takes a village to raise a young professional. When I dove into the question, ‘What can I do to help,’ I really gained an appreciation for the Quad Cities.” Donaldson continues. "It is a give and take. The Quad Cities gives me a lot and I take that and turn it into energy to give back in whatever way I feel I can add to it.”

Her involvement with local organizations like the NAACP, Relay for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the QC Empowerment Network, and YPQC have helped Donaldson develop a regional picture of the Quad Cities. She explains, "I was 25 when I moved here. [The Quad Cities] helped me come into the person I wanted to be: career-wise, socially, on a civic level. I developed all of that in the Quad Cities.” Donaldson adds, "I don’t target one city or one area to benefit. I think of what can I do for this region. Honestly I do think of the Quad Cities as one large city. When I immersed myself in this city that’s what I developed. I don’t think of it as Rock Island, Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline - I think of it as one large city.”

Join Brandy Donaldson and our other honorees on May 28 for the Community Impact Awards at the Stern Center in downtown Rock Island.

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