I am so excited to join the Trellis Foundation as their Grants and Operations Assistant. This position is a great fit for both my experience in grantmaking and my personal focus on tackling social inequality. I am honored to be a part of an organization focused on improving postsecondary attainment for low-income students and students of color in Texas.
My career began working in the accounting department at the home office for Walmart Stores, Inc. after a failed attempt at completing a business degree at the University of Arkansas. My heart was not in that type of work, and I knew that I wanted to do something more. By chance, I came upon an open position with the Walmart Foundation. Though I had no experience in grantmaking or working with nonprofits, they gave me a chance, and that chance changed the trajectory of my career and life focus.
On my first day at the Walmart Foundation, I cried. We were previewing a commercial that had just been developed by Walmart’s marketing team to promote our partnership with America’s Second Harvest (now known as Feeding America). The commercial showed a scene at a school cafeteria where one child sat quietly with a simple school-prepared lunch in front of him as other kids traded items from their lunchboxes. After a moment, one of the other children passed an item from his lunchbox under the table to the quiet child. His eyes lit up when he realized he now had something to trade with the other children. It was at this moment that I realized that social issues like poverty and hunger are complicated and affect all aspects of the lives of those impacted. I also realized that addressing these social issues is something that I wanted to be a part of.
During my time at the Walmart Foundation, I was given tremendous opportunities for career growth and ended up leading the state-level giving program, awarding more than $40 million per year to nonprofits across the country. This position allowed me unparalleled visibility to social issues that I would never have been aware of otherwise. Supporting organizations working on the frontlines to solve social issues was an honor and a privilege and taught me so much about the reality of the world around me.
After Walmart, my family and I moved to Orlando, Florida, where I began working on the Graduation and Grant Initiative at the University of Central Florida. This was a grant-funded program that provided support (both monetary and through university-provided wraparound services) to seniors at risk of not completing their first bachelor’s degrees. In this position, I was able to work with students who faced a variety of economic and personal hardships, but who had the drive to finish their degrees. These students were my motivation to finally finish my bachelor’s degree.
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in sociology, focused on social inequality, in May of 2019 from the University of Central Florida.
I look forward to learning more about the Trellis Foundation and building relationships with current and future partners in the postsecondary attainment space.
About the Author
Megan Beadle joined the Trellis Foundation in 2021 with nearly 15 years of experience in grantmaking and working with underserved populations in corporate and higher education settings. Prior to joining Trellis, she led state-level charitable giving for the Walmart Foundation, assisting state and local nonprofits across the country. Additionally, Megan worked on the Graduation and Grant Initiative at the University of Central Florida, assisting college seniors at risk of not finishing their degrees due to financial and situational hardships.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Central Florida.