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VLC Presents - Beth Anderson of TFA

RYAN SCHWARTZ, Volunteer Leadership Council Chair

Monday, January 26th brought together a relatively small, but dedicated group of volunteers, staff members and friends of the EKC together to hear from a leading expert in the field of social entrepreneurship. In the first ever event hosted by the Volunteer Leadership Council (VLC), dubbed the Social Entrepreneurship Symposium, Beth Anderson and Marleah Rogers spoke eloquently about the power of individuals and their inner entrepreneur. After showing a clip from “The New Heroes” documentary in which Dr. Yunus (the Nobel Peace prize winner for his conception of microfinance) spoke about harnessing the “inner genie” that resides within us all and using it to fight for positive social change, big or small.

Beth Anderson, former VP of Foundation Relations for Teach for America, was the featured speaker and did a fantastic job of taking the lofty notion of social entrepreneurship and grounding it in her experience, as well as in the context of the work done by our volunteers at the EKC. She told a fascinating story about the founders of Kiva.org, the first person-to-person microfinance organization in the world, and its founders to give us some context as to how exactly these ideas are put into practice. More than that, she gave us all the feeling that we hold the power to invoke social change and it us up to us to put that power to use. Marleah further empowered us by reminding all of our guests how important the volunteer experience is to the EKC and its mission of alleviating educational inequity amongst low-income students from our community.

All in all, the event was an incredibly empowering experience and the speakers, as well as the VLC members who helped put it all together, received nothing but positive feedback. We hope that our next event will draw on a larger audience and can unlock the “inner genie” within more and more young, potential social entrepreneurs.

5 Reasons I’m a Fan of Google

LAUREN GARDNER, Chief Operating Officer

1. Google searches often make me appear much smarter than I really am.
2. Google Maps has saved me significant money on gas since I’m not out lost on the roads.
3. Google Reader is so user-friendly that this blogging novice is actually starting to get the hang of it.
4. Any company that has a tradition of April Fools pranks is a good company in my book.
5. And, most recently, I’m a fan because Google cares about non-profits.  Last year the Emily K Center applied and received a Google Grant which allows us to access their Adwords program as well as use Google Checkout to process our on-line donations without a fee.  They just informed us that they are extending this trial run for another year.  Now that might sound like no big deal, but for us it means significant money every year that goes to helping our kids instead of paying credit card companies.  It means that every dollar donated actually makes it here (instead of the 4.5% or so that would normally go to the credit card company).  Google’s a company that’s serious about helping non-profits and has found a way to do it that uses its strengths and strengthens its brand. 

Any other Google fans agree with me on this one?  Do you have any other reason to add to my list?

Academics. Character. Leadership.

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