Mark McCurdy runs the www.thenonprofitcareercoach.org.
Kerry Connor is the National Recruitment Director for Jumpstart, a national non-profit organization that focuses on early intervention for at risk preschoolers. They place older adults to work one on one with at risk preschoolers.
Mark volunteered at Read for the Record, a national campaign to raise awareness around the country for early childhood education. There were over 11,000 events around the country last year.
Kerry learned about Jumpstart from the NBC Today Show. Education has always been important to Kerry. She grew up in Savannah Georgia and went to a school where the education was poor with a lot of disruption, including bomb threats almost everyday and even some shootings. She was lucky because her parents read to her daily.
Kerry says there is a story everyday that givers her a reason to want to do this work. Statistics like the fact that the number of prison cells needed is projected based on 3rd grade literacy rates. When she looked a Jumpstart she saw a lot of opportunities. Even though she did not have a recruiting background, this seemed like a good fit for her.
To get engaged in this sector, the mission has to resonate with you. It’s not enough just to want to make a difference. Break your skills down, prepare to be flexible and work hard. For entry level people she looks for people who are coach-able. If you want to get involved, you can in a couple of different ways. If you are a college student, try on an internship or a strategic volunteering opportunity. If you want to get a feel for what it’s like to work in this space, Jumpstart has community core members that work 300 hours per year working one on one with at risk preschoolers.
Find a mentor or a career coach that has major experience in the nonprofit sector are two additional ways to help accelerate your nonprofit career.