June 12, 2019
On the art of writing glorious prose.
“Our State of the Industry Report shows that since we began measuring in 2014 there has been a 6 percent increase in people of color in the field. There is still a long way to go but progress in Minneapolis is being made.”
It does every day. I believe teaching is the best training ground for leadership. You aren’t paying anyone to do the work; you must inspire and set clear expectations and build community and try to make it fun. Those are all the skills I use every day as a leader of a nonprofit. I am always juggling many priorities.
Hmm … some days. But no. It is the hardest job in the world. It can be physically and mentally exhausting. And, when your day ends planning and grading begin. And, all of that is true; but it is the most wonderful profession and one that provides incredible satisfaction.
In 2009. I was hired to be the very first program director.
My first teaching role was in Tokyo. It was a small international school. My colleagues were from all over the world. I learned that my training was not the only way to teach. It was a wonderful opportunity to open my mind, learn from others and concentrate on the mechanics of running a strong classroom, where each learner was supported to make mistakes, feel confused and then hopefully see their own growth.
On one visit to my dad, who lived in New Mexico, I recall looking out the window as we drove along at a big old ranch with horses. I had a snapshot of me being a professional tennis player and owning a ranch. It is such a vivid memory and makes me laugh since I never really played tennis but loved to watch it with my grandpa. I did not have a dream job. I don’t think I knew what was out there. I think that is one of the reasons I love The BrandLab so much. It shows young people about creative jobs they probably have never heard of.
It is everything.
In 2009 we had one classroom in one city serving less than 30 kids. Today we are in two markets, poised for three by the end of 2020, with more than 100 young people in paid internships placed every summer. Best of all students from our earliest cohorts are landing jobs in the field. Our State of the Industry Report shows that since we began measuring in 2014 there has been a 6 percent increase in people of color in the field. There is still a long way to go, but progress in Minneapolis is being made.
I receive emails frequently about the success our young people are having. They are graduating from college, earning scholarships, having more confidence. It’s why I keep doing what I do.
Lean into a generous spirit.
Growth and impact. We must serve more students and place more of our alumni in jobs.