Founding Executive Director
Location: Dunwoody, Georgia
Jennifer Guynn grew up volunteering with her family from an early age. She served at a shelter in high school and was assigned to wash the feet of men experiencing homelessness.
“It’s a humbling thing to wash someone’s feet, but it was just as humbling for them to have me wash their feet,” Guynn said. “This experience was really a gift given to me. It drives me to provide youth with an equally life-changing service experience. You never know which spark will ignite the fire. You just have to light the match. This experience connected me to this man on a very personal level. I do not remember his name, and we never met again. But I see his face everywhere, calling me to be compassionate. Calling me to teach compassion to the next generation.”
Guynn started her nonprofit, Pebble Tossers, with a friend as an idea over margaritas and a $1,000 donation. The nonprofit aims to equip and empower youth to lead through service.
“Frustrated by the lack of age-appropriate opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful service, we formed Pebble Tossers to start a ripple of giving in youth that would span lifetimes,” Guynn said.
Pebble Tossers disrupted the volunteer sector, which focused on corporate or adult participation. Instead, Pebble Tossers champions youth engagement and empowers youth with opportunities and resources to get involved. Guynn has engaged more than 20,000 volunteers since 2010. She has increased service projects from four in 2010 to 386 projects in 2021, adding more than $1.4 million in volunteer value to the Atlanta community annually.
The nonprofit has expanded its services to include a nine-month Teen Leadership Program for high school students. The curriculum incorporates psychology, social-emotional learning and social justice awareness. Graduates of the program have a deeper understanding of themselves, build workforce readiness and create an impact on the community.
Guynn recently led and managed the organization’s rebranding and website redesign, launching a website and digital volunteer management system with a paid membership business model, which has seen an increase in volunteer numbers and doubled revenues from memberships since the launch.
“Jennifer identified a community need and took an entrepreneurial approach to solve the problem by creating a service that offers age-appropriate volunteer opportunities for children and families with a unique method of tracking and organizing service hours,” Guynn’s team said. “She successfully performed all start-up functions, including legal structure, branding, trademarking, funding, accounting, marketing, advertising, writing, creating and executing business plans.
“She has scaled the organization, starting with a personal donation of $500 to a sustainable business model, moving the organization toward regional growth with industry-wide recognition.”
Jennifer loves adventure travel. Some of her favorite trips have been hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim in one day, kayaking with penguins in Cape Town, South Africa, riding camels in Morocco, and wine tasting in France.