Guest blog from Tiffany Washington, Project LEAD alumna on the value that completing Project LEAD had on her personal and professional life.
1. First, I wanted to gain skills in order to further my career in nonprofit leadership. As an African American woman who grew up as an at risk youth I hold a unique perspective regarding underserved populations. I engaged in risky behavior, skipped school regularly and was not on track to graduate, nor did I care to. I bring this perspective into my daily work and am passionate to see communities of color thrive. Throughout my career I have been a case manager, juvenile justice social worker, education/employment specialist, director, and more. My current position as a Chief Program Officer and my aspiration is to one day become an Executive Director which led me to Project LEAD. Engaging in this community of leaders was amazing! It was rejuvenating to sit in a room each week and learn from some of the most brilliant leaders in the nonprofit sector.
2. In addition to my desire to improve my nonprofit leadership skills, I wanted to learn in detail how nonprofit boards work. Throughout the time in Project LEAD I received a lot of information that I did not know regarding the role of a nonprofit board. This has improved my day to day interaction with my own board.
3. Finally, during my time in Project LEAD I gained something I was not expecting: I was able to sit in a room with some of the most brilliant, energetic, and motivating leaders of color and learn together. It was very beneficial to me to hear their thoughts, opinions, and learn from their areas of expertise. Some of the leaders I met will be lifelong friends and for that I am grateful.