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Karma Goes to Washington (DC)

Advocating for After School Programs

One of my passions is connecting people to the resources they need to thrive. I love to network. I love to talk to discover other people’s passions and find ways to link those passions to other people and projects where everyone can thrive.

For example, I believe every child and every family deserves access to quality childcare. It’s something about which I’m very passionate.

This year, I’m proud to serve as Idaho’s Ambassador to the AfterSchool Alliance, a national organization that advocates on behalf of out-of-school programs around the United States. I’ve been able to meet with other afterschool program champions, share ideas and struggles, but I also work closely with our state and local elected officials and our Congressional delegation to make sure they understand the critical need for funding for these important programs.

As we were able to get our youth center and programs up and running, I wanted to tell the world. I want other communities to see the same successes.

Fortunately, I’ve been asked to present about our work at a variety of events, which has allowed me to share our story and our message. In turn, getting to work with these events and the organizers has widened my network of resources.

The Idaho Non Profit Center does incredible work to support nonprofit organizations throughout the state. I have presented at two of their regional conferences. The Idaho Non Profit Center works in conjunction with Serve Idaho, the governor’s commission on service and volunteerism, to recognize outstanding non-profits and their volunteers. I was honored to receive one of the awards as one of Idaho’s Volunteers of the Year in 2021, during Idaho Philanthropy Day but equally honored to deliver the keynote address for the same event the next year.

I also presented at the 2022 Rural Success Summit about our success in building a collaborative community project. I speak frequently at local Rotary, Lions and Optimists clubs. All of these engagements allow me to tell the story of how we created a youth center and transit system, but also share my passion for service.

These speaking engagements give me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people and learn about the resources they might be able to bring to my projects. It also presents me with new and exciting opportunities to continue sharing my passions and visions for the causes I care about.

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