Meet Dana Morrow, PENCIL Volunteer Extraordinaire

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we at PENCIL are truly grateful for the Partners, businesses, and individuals who choose to share their time, talent, and treasure with us.  You make an impact in the lives of thousands of Metro students all year round.

One person who singlehandedly influenced the lives of at least 1,000 students is Dana Morrow. He managed Stansell Electric’s PENCIL Partnership from 2014 to 2023, and during those years, he committed countless hours to mentoring students. Robert Moxley, our PENCIL Box Community Engagement Manager, nominated Dana for the inaugural Charles Strobel Legacy of Service Award for the Mary Catherine Strobel Awards. This excerpt explains beautifully what makes Dana such a valued volunteer at PENCIL and why Dana is one of only three finalists for the honor.

“If you ask Dana Morrow, he never intended to be the mentor for hundreds of young men and women across Nashville. Dana was just a lineman at the electrical company. But, when Stansell Electric became a PENCIL partner at Maplewood High School, Dana became an educator and community member at the school. When he realized that an education in the electrical trade could make a difference in people’s lives, Dana used his skills as an electrician to not only teach people how to read blueprints, but also show them that he cared about them.

“Dana taught Career and Technical Education classes at Maplewood’s Academy of Health and Energy. He taught students how to read blueprints, bend conduit, and how to properly handle tools. But Dana’s service at Maplewood extended well beyond that. Dana went to every home football game; he provided wire for sculptures; he even bought tools from Goodwill to donate to students so they’d have the basics upon graduation.

“In those 10 years, Dana instructed over 400 students at Maplewood, and through all of the workforce development programs, over 1,000 people. And he has more than a dozen former students with whom he stays in close contact. Dana has committed countless hours to mentoring students at Maplewood, career fairs, and events outside of school. He has dedicated his life to lifting up people of all backgrounds, offering instruction, advice, or a sympathetic ear.

“Last year, Dana ‘retired’ from his position at Stansell. Since then, he has continued teaching electrical skills, has become a recurring volunteer at the DG PENCIL Box and earned the nickname ‘King of PENCIL Connect’ by registering for far more in-school volunteer opportunities than anyone else. Dana also uses his thrift store savvy to purchase new school supplies which he donates every time he volunteers at the DG PENCIL Box.

“Dana’s greatest value to the community was always as a mentor and a champion of Metro Nashville Public Schools. His service lives on through the many students he has mentored.” 

Thank you, Dana, and thank you to all our PENCIL volunteers.