Kristi Birk, YNPN Secretary and Chair-Elect
As a former teacher and administrator, I thought I knew what a board of directors was. Wasn’t it composed of random people elected in the community that have a say in the policies, procedures and funding for the school district? They show up to a room once a month for two hours, and these men and women dictate the salaries of the school employees- and then they go back to their respective jobs and worry about their districts the following month at the next school board meeting.
Fun fact: that is not how it works.
When I joined the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) as an employee, one of my responsibilities was “board liaison.” I had no idea what that meant, but I knew I had to learn FAST..
I am a lifelong Oklahoman – a fifth generation one to be exact. In 2014, I moved away from the nest for the first time after I finished OU’s MPA program to spend two years in Arkansas as an education policy analyst. During my time in Arkansas, I searched for community and connection culturally, professionally, and demographically by age. The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) was one of the places where I found that professional connection among my peers in the nonprofit sphere. That year, the Little Rock chapter hosted the national YNPN convention. The conference was an AMAZING chance to meet professionals from across the country, attend relevant workshops that strengthened my knowledge base, and meet the leaders responsible for furthering YNPN’s mission of building a diverse and powerful social sector. I bought into the values of YNPN and served on the Little Rock board for one year.
In 2016, I transitioned back to Oklahoma. I knew that I would miss my YNPN of Little Rock family. But the Oklahoma City chapter embraced me and grew the love that I already had for this organization based on my Little Rock experience. The OKC chapter is one of the largest in the country with close to 200 paid members and it specializes in building a space where rising public sector leaders can learn, grow, and connect with one another. Based on my experience over the past two years, here are reasons NOT to join YNPN of OKC:Read more
Leo Rosten was an American humorist, writer, and specialist in Yiddish lexicography. I have no idea what “Yiddish lexicography” means, but he had a perspective on life that endears me. He viewed the purpose of life “to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all."
We are busy people. Time is a valuable resource, particularly for young professionals still figuring out all the opportunities in life. But there is a difference between being busy and being active with purpose.
Something happens when we recognize our time as a resource. When we strive to make the most of our lives, time is a resource that can be used for good. This is why I volunteer.Read more