Project LEAD graduates have just hit the 1,000 mark.
That’s a great milestone. But what’s greater is what it means: that many people—more specifically people of color—are using this training to serve on nonprofit boards and other leadership positions in our community. Because why wouldn’t our nonprofits reflect our area’s spectacular diversity?
Special thanks to our Project LEAD sponsors: Starbucks, UPS, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Davis Wright Tremaine, and Microsoft.
Here’s how one grad has put her training and passion to work:
Vera Njuguna, class of 2014
I discovered Mother Africa when I was looking for ways to bring change to the immigrant and refugee community. As I sat in Mother Africa’s women’s group workshops and heard of stories and experiences by women who faced health care, education and employment barriers due to lack of support and information as foreigners, I saw my family and me in their stories.
As an immigrant myself, I know the difficulty of navigating new things like the health care system. It wasn’t easy to even explain it to my parents in our native language.
I saw this challenge as an opportunity to bridge the gap. I learned of Project LEAD and it became my answer to bringing clarity to what my contribution to Mother Africa’s efforts could be and the needs of the women in the workshop.
In Project LEAD, we explored topics on strategic leadership, fiscal management and issues that cripple organizations. The significance of how organizational leadership impacts change in communities, families and individuals became more apparent.
I became a Mother Africa board member after completing Project LEAD. It was a unique period when the organization’s foundation was being set. We have begun the process of defining strategies and priorities, getting our financial affairs in order, and bridging the gap between service providers and our community members.
There are defining lessons and reference materials from Project LEAD that have enriched my insight and guided areas of focus in our board meeting conversations. I am excited for the change Mother Africa is going to bring to the community and grateful that Project LEAD was there to prepare me to be a player in bringing that change.
Have you benefited from a Project LEAD grad’s expertise and energy—or want a Project LEAD grad involved in your organization? Email Nadia Gandara to make the match.