Tell us about you:
I have served as Executive Director of FRIENDS Association for Children since October of 2012. I have brought a very diverse background of 30+ years of nonprofit experience to FRIENDS that includes fundraising, program development, management and administration.
What is the focus of your work, the need you are addressing?
The primary focus of FRIENDS Association for Children is Early Childhood Education programming and support for families in the Richmond Metro area. We provide quality programs in a safe, nurturing environment. Our programs enhance academic and social development, and promotes school readiness in our young students.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
Children come to FRIENDS at various stages in their young lives. It is incredibly rewarding to watch them grow and develop self-sufficiency skills. I really enjoy seeing them smile as they realize their own achievements.
What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them?
Funding programs is always at the forefront of our challenges. We continually seek funding opportunities, create community and corporate relationships, and work closely with our partner agencies to address this challenge.
What’s coming next for you and/or for your organization that really excites you?
FRIENDS has several upcoming activities this Spring that are noteworthy. Our children will have the opportunity to perform at community festivals, held at two area parks in May, sponsored by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Other Music Education and Performing Arts participants will participate in a year-end recital to showcase all they’ve learned in music lessons this year. And the graduation ceremony for our preschoolers will be held in early June! This summer, we are excited about a six week program that our children will participate in with the Richmond Latin Ballet through support from the Richmond Rotary.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
FRIENDS uses ConnectVA resources to post jobs, recruit volunteers and promote various calendar events.