September 6, 2012
I am incredibly humbled and honored to announce that CARE for AIDS has been selected to join this year’s class of Praxis Fellows. Thank you to all of you who prayed for us during this process. Praxis Labs is a program that was developed in collaboration with the Q Conference. Josh Kwan and Dave Blanchard, the founders of Praxis, have created a mentorship-driven accelerator program that helps social entrepreneurs create higher impact organizations.
When I heard about this opportunity from a fellow in the inaugural class of Praxis, I knew that it would be a perfect opportunity for CARE for AIDS. Thankfully, after a rigorous application process, we were selected as one of twelve organizations from a very competitive pool of 96 applicants. The program consists of three five-day retreats throughout the next year where the fellows will come together and sit under the teaching and mentorship of world-class faculty to learn about vital organizational issues such as fundraising strategy, board development, storytelling, brand strategy, etc. I promise to take extensive notes and pass along these learnings in future blogs. Hopefully, you will find some application in your own leadership. The first of these retreats is in just over a month in New York.
As I look toward the start of the program, I wanted to share with you the four things that I am most excited about for me personally and for CARE for AIDS.
Personal Growth: I believe that leaders at all stages of life ought to be pursuing personal growth and development. As my dad always says, “Your capacity to learn determines your capacity to lead.” However, as a 25-year old leader, my need to learn from other leaders who have gone before is much higher. I pray that this experience equips me to be a better leader for this work God has called me to.
Organizational Strategy: I don’t claim that we have all the answers or the best strategies in place to accomplish our vision. I’m excited for a group of my peers and faculty members to scrutinize our model and strategy and offer feedback on how to improve it. As painful as this truth-telling process might be in the moment, it will be for the betterment of our work, and ultimately, for the betterment of the Kingdom.
Relationships: Relationships are at the heart of everything. We can all accomplish more through the sharing of ideas, talents, resources, and experiences. Praxis is an incredible opportunity to build a lifelong network of leaders who have common values, beliefs, and passions. I imagine that these men and women will continue to add value to my life and leadership long after the program ends.
Exposure: We have always viewed our development strategy in two buckets: engagement and exposure. We need our current supporters to become more engaged, but we also need to expose new audiences to our mission and vision. I have always found the latter to be harder. During this fellowship, we will have the opportunity to gain exposure among influential fellows and faculty members, a network of Praxis funders who review all of the final presentations, and the entire Q community. I know that God is doing a great work in Kenya, and I am always excited when we get to share that with new people.
For these four reasons and others, I pray that CARE for AIDS is marked by this experience and that God will use it to enlarge our territory and impact more lives and eternities in Kenya.