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Graduate school: What am I doing here???

I look up from my laptop screen to see my mom taking a photo of me. “MOM!” I scream at her.

“What honey? It’s funny that you are working on homework in the ER, and this really needs to be documented.”

That was not the first and not the last moment I asked myself, “What am I doing here?” Well, okay, I knew why I was in the emergency room. I had tripped over a pothole while going for a run and got a hematoma (essentially internal bleeding) on my leg that needed to get checked out. During the long wait at the hospital, I found myself laying on a hospital bed with a leg injury and needing to prep for a graduate school group project meeting I had later that night. So, essentially, I knew why I was in the ER, but I found myself questioning yet again why I decided to go back to graduate school. Why was I putting myself through the mental and, apparently, sometimes physical, stress of pursuing a second degree? 

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Young & Professional: Why YNPN-TC should hold space for tough conversations

While I don’t consider myself a writer, I highly respect those who write for a living or for pleasure. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I looked to someone I’ve always admired: Oprah Winfrey. I admire Oprah as a black woman and as a millennial who grew up watching her become an influential and powerful voice for women. Her book “What I Know for Sure” came to mind when I started brainstorming how to start writing. The book is a straightforward account of her biggest adversities in life and how overcoming her greatest challenges allowed her to learn the important lessons i.e. what she knows for sure in her life. So here it goes. 

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A poem for now

For the podcast Sugar Calling, Cheryl Strayed interviews authors during quarantine. In a recent episode, Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States, read and recited poetry. Collins is a poet who reminds me that I like poetry. In the podcast, he quoted Irish poet Eavan Boland, “Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.”

If ever there was a time that felt like a shadowy accident, it’s now. Thus, I can’t write anything resembling advice. Dozens of COVID-19 think pieces exist or will soon, and I can’t do that to you or to myself. Also, I have no sourdough tips.

So instead of a blog, I’ve written a poem, followed by some poems I enjoy.

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Unfortunately, it's still a MAN's world

I have a friend that within the last few years made a career shift. They went directly from being a pharmacist to being the Executive Director of a non-profit center addressing women’s health in a rural area of my home state. No in-between job. No experience with non-profits. Did I mention that this friend is a cis-gendered, white man?? Look, I am not upset at my friend. I am tired and irritated with our sector. 

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Tips to working from home

I’d be willing to bet you’re reading this from home. As you should be! It’s a strange and uncertain time for all of us right now, and although we’ve all had routine changes and things that have flipped our day-to-day inside out, we still have to work. 

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YNPN-TC's response to COVID-19

We are prioritizing the health and safety of our community

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The start of our journey to an intercultural mindset

As the late, great Paul Wellstone said - we all do better when we all do better. Whether you agree with his political beliefs or not, you can’t disagree with this statement. 

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Patching holes in the social safety net

Wealth has accumulated to the top 1% of the population at a rate never witnessed in American history, and the beneficiaries have used this wealth to accrue more influence. They have shaped our democratic institutions as their protectors by resisting taxation in all its forms, arguing against “handouts” to the undeserving masses.

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Get on board

What kind of person do you picture when you hear the words board of directors? Take a few seconds and think about it. Now, take out the old white guy you’re imagining, and put yourself in.

Yes, you. Millennials are vastly underrepresented on boards of directors in the nonprofit world—only 17% of nonprofit board members are under the age of 40 (meanwhile, more than half are over 50). While a typical board recruit might be someone with decades of job experience, young professionals have more to offer as board members than one might think. 

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“Nothing About Us Without Us” … including the use of this slogan

In the span of a few weeks in two unrelated settings, I heard it: “Nothing about us without us.” The first time was in a meeting about peer-assisted recovery for survivors of substance use disorder. The second time was in a community forum about empowerment training for marginalized Black youth. The separate speakers who said these words imbued them with the same meaning: they were an incantation of self-determination. The speakers didn’t attribute them to any person or source, but they clearly made an impression on the audiences.

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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