What do you do at LINC?
I oversee LINC's fundraising program-- this includes leading an incredible team of 5, and collaborating with leadership and board to raise the funds (about $5M annually) to support and deliver LINC's programs.
How did you get involved in early literacy?
Much of my career has been dedicated to education and community development, not specifically early literacy. I certainly believe in the importance of early literacy, but I was most drawn to LINC because of its model and focus on empowering parents and connecting communities.
I'm a former teacher. I taught middle school language arts in Baltimore, MD from 2005 - 2008. I realized pretty quickly that teaching was not going to be my profession forever, but I loved being a part of a community K-8 school. While teaching, I also had two other jobs with nonprofits who were running athletic, after-school, and adult-ed programs for the students and families at my school. I felt like I was having more impact AND fun in those roles, and I think my students liked me a lot more on the soccer field than they did in the classroom:) Kidding aside, I was drawn to the missions and service delivery models, and decided to leave teaching and pursue a full-time career working for nonprofits and missions serving communities in innovative and transformative ways.
How does being an organization run by women inform LINC's approach to educational justice?
I read an article/interview (recommended to me by LINC's leader, Shari Levine) from Inside Philanthropy Magazine last fall in which Lisa Klein (who used to run the Alliance for Early Success) was quoted on the concept of "wild patience" when working in the early ed space. Wild patience is "the notion that we have to act with urgency, because we can’t afford to have one more child not succeed or miss out on opportunities, but that we also have to be in it for the long haul, because it takes time to change the trajectory of a child’s life."
Women are uniquely-- and sometimes painfully-- qualified to balance the juxtaposition of "urgency" and "patience". We live and lead in personal and professional spaces where we balance being strong, and sensitive; flexible, and resolute; gritty, and composed; proud, and humble. We know-- and continue to experience-- that change takes time, and it also cannot wait. We know the importance of relationships and the power of movements, and how to start, maintain, and galvanize them.
Register now for LINC’s latest virtual reading programs. We can’t wait to read with you.