YES Prep – That’s a Wrap!

Dson PicI cannot believe that my time at YES Prep has come to an end! Over the past year, I have met so many exceptional people and honed skills that I didn’t even know I have. As I look back, I am certain that no other postgrad experience could match my time at YES. Had it not been for my Impact Fellowship, I would never have been given access to the people and types of projects I learned from over the past year.

I have many surprising and funny stories about my time at YES, but the one I would like to share is about my favorite project. As resident millennial of the Communications & Marketing team, I slipped into the position of social media marketing expert. For YES Prep Senior Signing Day, an opportunity for each graduating student to reveal their college choice to friends, family, staff, and supporters, I organized a social media campaign to publicize the event.

For two weeks, I photographed students with their college paraphernalia, and each day for 30 days prior to the event, we featured a student on the YES Prep Instagram with the hashtag “sayyestocollege.” On my first visit, I met a student who had been accepted to six Ivy League schools, as well as Davidson. On her Davidson acceptance letter, however, I noticed Chris Gruber, Dean of Admissions, had written a personal note of congratulations. As a Davidson alum, it was exciting to see first generation college-goers provided with the same opportunities as any other student in America, regardless of race, gender, class, or economic status. As I laughed and mingled with the students that day, I felt similarly fortunate for the amazing opportunities provided to me through the Impact Fellows Program.

The chance to apply what we learn at school to the non-profit sector is imperative in continuing our lives of service beyond four years at college. I have cherished my time at YES and look forward to seeing all that our future Impact Fellows accomplish, as I am sure the program will see more success with each year!

If you would like to watch a video of the YES Prep Senior Signing Day ceremony, you can find it here!

The impact of trails, the impact of a fellow

Tree Amigos!

One year as a fellow. I’ve researched, studied, data-crunched, and presented. I’ve walked, biked, paddled, and hiked. I’ve mapped, plant-IDed, chopped, and chain-sawed. I’ve spent an excellent year of analyzing, promoting, and stewarding the land and trails that my two organizations protect and build. I have gained many skills and have many stories to tell. [...]

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Back to School

      As a student enrollment coordinator, there are very few things I can’t do from the comfort of my computer. My boss and I always joke that if they put a coffee pot and a bathroom in our back corner of the office, we would never leave. We joke, but I hope it [...]

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My Life is My Job… My Job is My Life?

Birthday celebrations at the office

We are constantly bombarded with: Follow your dreams Do what makes you happy Work life vs. home life If you don’t like it, leave it Obviously these carry undertones of privilege and access that not everyone has the fortune of taking advantage. As the U.S. News reported more clearly in their article called “Why You [...]

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On Being American When in Mexico—On Being Biracial When in the United States

Hanal Pixan (Day of the Dead Procession)

  This is the conversation I had in Mexico with someone who is racially white and nationally from the U.S.  Backdrop: Merida is an up-and-coming city nationally and internationally. It has started to heavily delve into the tourism sector, which has sparked a lot of economic development in the area. Because of its weather, low [...]

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A three-fold cord is not quickly broken…

Sekou Toure Team

Lately, its been a little quiet in New York…with Tuesday being a big exception as ‘Polar Vortex 2’ hit the city again. It’s really, really cold. A fun, warm ‘inside’ activity for me is to browse through old pictures. Some memories must always be lived again and again J .  While wrapped in more blankets [...]

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It Truly is the Season of Giving:

love book and smile

  This year I am in charge of a Park Road Book tree for our students here at Communities In Schools. Each year this small, locally run, book store in Charlotte puts up a tree the day after Thanksgiving  for their patrons to sponsor our students. Students create ornaments, request books, and turn them in [...]

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People, People, People

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this group?!

The holidays, especially Kwanzaa and New Year’s have reminded me to reflect. Recently, the topic of people and relationships has been on my mind a lot, professionally and personally. I enjoy a robust and diverse friend group and work in a field that focuses on people—and the connections between them. Over the holidays, I caught [...]

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Coming OUT as an Ally

When asked during my interview what motivates me to do this work in LGBT advocacy specifically, I responded that I was interested in the power of theatre to cohere and uplift marginalized communities. I gave examples of the oppression that LGBT communities face. I told my boss-to-be that I hoped a year spent working for [...]

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Learning to Listen as a Leader

Kouzes and Posner in The Jossey Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership describe the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. This fellowship has given me the opportunity to be around many leaders. Here at the Carolina Thread Trail and the Catawba Lands Conservancy, I work closely with Tom Okel, the Executive Director. I see him [...]

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