Rarely in life are we surrounded by people that are collaborating with such intensity that you just know you’re doing something right. How often do we wake up in the world and honestly believe in every decision and action that we will make during that day?
I have worked with iLEAP as Program Coordinator for almost two years and I love that I can wholeheartedly say that everything I did mattered. As a small start up nonprofit we’ve had a lot of decisions to make and limited resources to carry them out. What we’ve found though over the course of iLEAP’s development has been that while our monetary resources might be slim our community-generated support has been invaluable and immense. With each event, workshop or program successfully completed we, as an organization, realized that what was just accomplished was because of the connections made in the many communities surrounding iLEAP.
As our community grew like weeds I could only think that what we were doing in iLEAP mattered in the world, to the people around us, and to me. I returned to every staff meeting, to every appointment with a potential partner organization, to every outreach event because I knew that iLEAP had a product to sell; one that is timely, connects to what people want to see in the world, and fills a place for individuals to be a part of something that matters in this fast paced culture. iLEAP has created and operates at a different pace, and while sometimes everything feels like it’s happening all at once the process we’ve gone through has been thoroughly organic.
At this point in time, I have decided to change roles within iLEAP from Program Coordinator to a member of the Advisory Board. So far, this organization has offered me the space to test my strength, willingness and perseverance in a professional capacity to help cultivate an organization that is needed in the world. I knew at every step along the way that what we were offering would not only have an impact in Seattle, but in many communities around the world. That’s a lot to handle as a volunteer staff, but it’s also great motivation to continue pursuing leads, funds, partnerships, and relationships. I have learned a lot about myself through working with iLEAP – what I’m good at (organizing event and generating partnerships) and what I can still use some help on (not crying during public speeches or announcements!), but all in all iLEAP has shown me another way. And with so much talk in the news, politics and community development initiatives the world over it is finally nice to be a part of that “third way”, to feel like it can be done and I was a part of it.
Rarely in life are we able to help create a space in our lives that we know will touch so many others as well. Thank you to all who have been a part of iLEAP thus far and to all who will enter is programs, to supporters, and to the iLEAP community of the future. It’s been an absolutely life fulfilling experience.