September 9, 2016
Few people can say they spent nearly 20 years in prison and then received President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award. Dirk Van Velzen, the founder and executive director of the Prison Scholar Fund (PSF), can.
On this episode of the Classy Podcast, Dirk takes us on his journey through applying to and graduating from Penn State, starting the Prison Scholar Fund, and awarding scholarships to fellow inmates who wanted to pursue education—all during his incarceration.
After his release in May 2015, Dirk spearheaded the infrastructure building and program delivery of the organization, continuing to apply his lessons learned from previous challenges.
September 2, 2016
If you had to describe Leah Gilliam—the VP of education, strategy, and innovation at Girls Who Code—in three words, “always be learning” would be the most appropriate.
Early influences (like her mom, who covered the Civil Rights Movement as the first black female journalist at The Washington Post) and experiences (growing up in D.C. and watching marches on the White House) has nurtured Leah into a life-long learner who leads through empathy.
August 26, 2016
In early 2016, Cindy Jones-Nyland stepped down as CMO of Heifer International, citing in a recent blog that “intuition spoke very clearly about needing to allow more time and space for other things I am passionate about, and for spending more moments with my family.”
This trust in her own judgment and courage to take new steps are exactly what define Cindy as a leader.
Her advice on authenticity in leadership and using intuition to make important life and career decisions, as well as her healthy opposition to the work/life balance debate, will leave you feeling renewed and rejuvenated in your own position. Not to mention, she shares a behind-the-scenes take from her experience running the marketing team of one of the largest, most trusted nonprofits in the world.
August 16, 2016
You’ve likely seen or even own Lauren Bush Lauren’s most popular product: a burlap tote that was inspired by the bags of food rations she saw being delivered by the World Food Programme in 2007. Nearly a decade later Lauren has inspired a movement of artisans and buyers and has established FEED as a leader within the intersection of business and social impact.
In this episode, the FEED Founder & CEO speaks openly about her early days founding the social business and the challenges and milestones that have carved her path since. She also reveals her hacks on finding balance in a busy world, where she finds inspiration, and mentors that have shaped her and FEED's trajectory.
August 9, 2016
Katie Meyler and Emily Bell of More Than Me, an organization that provides education to the most vulnerable girls in the capital of Liberia, join us in this episode of the Classy Podcast. Soon after More Than Me opened their academy for girls, the Ebola crisis erupted and schools were shut down. More Than Me turned their academy into an Ebola outreach center working alongside the community on the frontlines.
Katie, the founder & CEO, was recently recognized by Time Magazine as the person of the year for fighting Ebola, and Emily, the marketing and development manager, has been quoted in Forbes, Mashable, and PBS News Hour, among others.
August 9, 2016
Team Rubicon is a veteran service organization that uses emergency response to reinvigorate better sense of purpose. Matt, as the Senior Development Officer, has grown the organization’s recurring giving program, pioneered its donor engagement efforts and scaled its donor management system with the Salesforce plus Classy Integration. Now, he’s also helping other organizations grow their online fundraising efforts with his consulting firm CauseMic.
July 29, 2016
Since childhood, Kennedy Odede faced intolerable hardship, but he never let a bad draw undermine his determination to uplift both himself and his community. It’s not until you hear Mr. Odede speak that you can believe he holds such a positive and hopeful outlook on life. Together with his wife, Jessica Posner, Kennedy has grown Shining Hope for Communities into a powerhouse of change for Kenya’s largest slum and beyond. Last October they released their book Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum, which has recently been released on paperback.
In this episode, Kennedy and Jessica discuss the key to community-driven solutions to poverty. Both inspiring and practical, they reveal the challenges behind empowerment and the methods that have worked well for their organization. You’ll learn:
- How to adopt a partnership mindset that’s actually fruitful
- Why empowerment isn’t just in the hands of nonprofits
- How SHOFCO enables leaders within the communities where they work
- How SHOFCO’s holistic approach to poverty works
- How to tell the stories of beneficiaries on the ground to donors in the US