At first glance, Representative Rena Moran’s ascent to public office is not unlike other Twin Cities progressive’s – a career in early childhood education, a fellowship with Wellstone Action, leadership as a community organizer – that is until you learn that just ten years ago this mother of seven was homeless, in search of a better life for her family.
It’s fitting then that Rep. Moran (DFL-St. Paul), a self-proclaimed “mother who decided to get involved,” now serves on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety/Crime Prevention Committees.
The future, however, wasn’t always as bright. Having heard the Twin Cities was supportive of families and public education, she made the heart-wrenching decision to move her young family in search of a better, more stable community. As Rena said, “it’s about your kids and the outcomes you strive for.”
Rena and her family sought resources from Caring and Sharing Hands upon their arrival, appreciating the warm and welcoming environment provided by an array of volunteers who helped parents navigate the different networks of community support services. Rena and her family also utilized the resources of Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities in their first months in St. Paul.Read more
The Vitals: Name, Current City, Age
Jamie Millard, Funapolis, MN. 24
1. Where do you work? What is your position? What do you like best about it?
Charities Review Council. Communications Coordinator. There are so many great nonprofits in MN and by working at the Council, I get the opportunity to help support many different kinds of nonprofits and donors.
2. Why nonprofits?
Working in a sector that proactively thinks and cares about the collective good of society is mentally and emotionally stimulating. Personally, I most enjoy working on the capacity building side of the sector as opposed to direct service—partly why working for an organization like Charities Review Council is such an amazing fit.
If someone told me when I graduated college three years ago that I’d be working as a nonprofit consultant, my response would have been: Me!?! A consultant? Don’t you have to be an expert to do that?
I’m no expert. I am, however, fortunate to have come into the nonprofit sector at a time when a less-than-desirable economy forced me to get creative with my career path.Read more
So you made it through the first month of the New Year! How are those professional goals of yours going? Over the course of January, I’ve felt a new goal emerging—one that seems so simple on the surface yet has been really challenging to put into practice.
I’m trying to ask more questions.
Easy enough if I was just letting myself throw out more of the typical: “How’s it going?” “How about all this snow?” No, I’m trying to find fresh questions—questions that have the power to move myself and those around me beyond chit chat or same-old, same-old to action in a new way.Read more
Every sector is unique. Each has its own set of insider lingo and modus operandi that may seem mysterious to an outsider. The nonprofit sector is no different, which is why networking in a room of new people that have little to no familiarity with the sector can often times turn into a cemetery of lost opportunities.
Here’s the usual scenario: I strike up a conversation with someone and run through the normal course of getting-to-know you questions. And somewhere in the midst of the interrogation comes the “So, what do you do” question. I test the waters by casually responding that I work for a local nonprofit. At which point—about 85% of the time—I can see my potential peer and network slowly begin to lose interest. One last Minnesota nice rescue attempt is made with the typical follow-up, “What do you do at your nonprofit?” And by the time I get to the word “and” in Office Manager and Membership Coordinator, they’ve lost all interest. And I’ve lost my chance to potentially bounce ideas and get advice on job-related issues.Read more
Co-written by Jamie Millard and Chris Oien
Networking is important. You know that, and we know that. It’s pretty much a given. But what do you do if just the thought of networking makes you want to crawl into a hole? We’ve both been there, because we are two of the roughly 25% of people who are introverts.
When it came time for each of us to go to our first YNPN networking event, we debated whether or not to go, and eventually skipped out—leaving a sick feeling in our stomachs. We later did get involved with YNPN; and when we met each other, we realized we had both bailed on the same event. While it had been a lonely experience, neither of us was alone in it, and knowing that was a huge relief.Read more
by Adaobi Okolue
follow me on Twitter: aokolue
Power. When we think of it, we often associate it with individuals who have the ability to exert it over others: Executive directors, presidents, board of directors, etc. We seldom believe that we—in the early-mid or even infancy stages of our careers—have the ability to turn the wheels of an organization with the same might as an executive director.Read more
I am not Miss Cleo, but I can provide you one painstaking revelation about your life last year with almost 100 percent accuracy, minus the exorbitant 1-800 charges. Ready: There is nothing you can do to change it. Absolutely nothing. So, there is no need to fret or dwell over the reviews of your internal critics. Instead, resolve to make your first footsteps into 2011 with some sort of direction. I’m not force-feeding you the resolutions lecture. I’m talking about goal-setting.Read more