Drew Reynolds, PhD, MSW, MEd
Program Director, Childspring International
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Consultant, Common Good Data
Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
Drew Reynolds is fairly new to the Atlanta nonprofit scene. He moved to Atlanta a year ago from Charlotte where he was an Assistant Professor in the UNC Charlotte School of Social Work. He started his consulting practice, Common Good Data, to engage in hands on work with health, education, and human service nonprofits. As a consultant, he works with nonprofit organizations using data to improve services, demonstrate impact, secure funding, and inspire change in the lives of the people and communities they serve.
Development Manager at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Social Media: LinkedIn
What sparked your interest in your work? Abby attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and received a degree in fine arts. She knew she wanted to work in the art scene but didn’t know exactly where to start. She learned more about nonprofits through internships she had during her undergraduate career. Her focus now is art and business relationships and how she can leverage what she knows about fundraising and grants to support local artists.
Director of Development,
Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
What sparked your interest in your work?
I used to work in the corporate world. That didn’t last very long. I realized early in my career that I needed to do something more meaningful and be a part of an organization with a greater purpose and impact. For me, it was never about asking people for money or fundraising. What drove me and continues to drive me to love what I do is making incredible connections with others, being able to educate them, and having an opportunity to share my passion with my community. The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy’s (GCCA) mission to provide hope and healing for abused kids helps provide me with that fulfillment. Not only does this initiative make a huge impact in the community, it also tackles a highly stigmatized issue that we often don’t talk about. I hope to be a catalyst to help ignite change surrounding these conversations.
Megan Arthur, Site Based Program Manager at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
Social Media: LinkedIn
Megan Arthur feels a deep sense of connection to the mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. As the first person in her family to attend a 4-year college, she remembers feeling overwhelmed by the decisions to be made about what to study and how that would impact her future. She says her mother’s support and guidance was a huge part of what helped her through those decisions. In her experience at Big Brother Big Sisters, she sees that same type of supportive relationship developing between Bigs and Littles every day.
Kristina Smith, Founder of HYPE
HYPE Social Media: Facebook, Instagram
2018 HYPE International Experience Video Recap
1. Kristina, you are the founder of HYPE, a nonprofit organization focused on providing hope for youth through empowerment and education. HYPE emphasizes STEM education, which refers to science, technology, engineering, and math. You, yourself have a professional background in technology, as an engineer and information management consultant. What first sparked your interest in technology?
My interest was sparked by exposure to technology and computer science, which I unfortunately didn’t get until I went to college. My decision to major in Computer Engineering was encouraged by dad – who saw my capability in math and my attraction to problem solving (and playing on the computer). I actually didn’t even know what a computer engineer was! Had it not been for people in my life and in my corner to encourage me to pursue something that I had limited understanding of, there is no telling what I’d be doing today.
After learning computer science and working on engineering projects in school, I really loved it – and was good at it! This is what motivated me to continue along that path as a career.
Christina G. Cummings, Executive Director of Kidz2leaders
Kidz2leaders Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube
(1) Christina, you currently work as the Executive Director of Kidz2leaders, a non-profit organization that aims to end generational incarceration. How long have you been working in the nonprofit sector and what inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?
My nonprofit work began in 2008, during my senior year of college at UGA, when I became the Executive Director of a student-run philanthropy benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In that role, I had the opportunity to volunteer within the hospitals, lead teams of student volunteers, organize fundraising events, and advocate for our cause within the UGA community. By the time I graduated, I knew I was in love with the nonprofit world and made plans to stay at UGA to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration, concentrating on nonprofits. My master’s program provided me with a stronger foundation for my career in the sector, gave me a network of colleagues to learn from, and, ultimately, connected me to the person who would hire me for my first real job! Ten years later, I can’t imagine doing any other type of work.
Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, Founder & CEO of Future Foundation, Inc.
Future Foundation Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
Qaadirah Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
(1) As the CEO of Future Foundation, Inc., an organization that focuses on youth empowerment through education, you are leading the way for those interested in creating impact, both globally and in their local communities.
Growing up in Atlanta, you’ve directly experienced the challenges faced by many children attending low-performing public schools. Future Foundation, Inc. provides intervention and serves many children at the middle school and high school level who may live below the poverty level. What are some unique challenges faced by this demographic?
Children living below the poverty level uniquely experience a combination of social factors that create a cycle of generational poverty. These factors include, racially segregated communities, low household incomes, historically low performing educational institutions, and high unemployment. Our focus at Future Foundation is to equip our students and their families with the tools to break the cycle.
Jillian Madden, Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center
Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta
(1) Jillian, you currently work as the development director at Midtown Assistance Center, a non-profit organization that aims to prevent homelessness and hunger. How long have you been working in the nonprofit sector and what inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?
I started out working at Midtown Assistance Center (MAC) through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a program similar to AmeriCorps, that places young people at nonprofit organizations for a year. The program focuses on living simply and in community - I lived with three other men and women who were working at different nonprofits throughout Atlanta. I loved working at MAC and discovered that nonprofit work was definitely my calling. I worked for United Way of Greater Atlanta after my year as a Jesuit Volunteer, and came back to MAC about 2.5 years ago as their Development Director.
Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta.
Jenni Hargrove, Nonprofit Jenni Show, Podcast
iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play
1. Jenni, we’re elated to have you featured in YNPN’s blog spotlight. Can you tell us a bit about your professional background? How did you get your start in marketing? And what led you to focus in on the nonprofit sector?
Thanks so much for having me! :) I got started in marketing pretty young… Way before I was ‘professionally’ marketing. When I was growing up, volunteering was never a choice for me—I was ‘voluntold’ more than I volunteered. But that wasn’t a bad thing—I never even thought twice about it. Volunteering was just a habit I got into, the same way your parents force you to brush your teeth every night before bed or go to school five days per week.
In middle school, I was very fortunate to be zoned for a school which had a STEM Academy, so I took a ton of technology classes, which included a bunch of digital marketing topics. I started talking with the nonprofits I volunteered with and asked, “Do you need someone to help with your website?” (This was back before social media was a thing.) They were all super excited to have me help out because websites were so new, and they didn’t really have time to mess with it.
Fast forward to my volunteering in college, I realized nonprofits generally find it pretty easy to get regular, client-facing volunteers. However, most don’t have nearly enough ‘skilled volunteers,’ which are long-term volunteers who help with more professional, back-end tasks. So, I started volunteering on lots of Marketing, PR, and Development committees.
After several years of doing this in a volunteer role, I realized a lot of nonprofits really need someone to come in and help them write entire marketing, development, and board development strategies. Most nonprofit leaders don’t have extensive business backgrounds and need the advice of someone who does. So, I started my own company and podcast to help meet those needs!