Introduction

Writing To Find The Way


Who I am.

I am the Director of Innovation at a college access non-profit in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ve started an account of our project to develop a tool for mitigating summer melt, the problem of students not enrolling in College during the fall, even though they’ve already been accepted earlier in the year.

Why I’m Writing.

The basis for these stories is to share our experiences, internally and more broadly to people like you. Over the next two years we’ll have many wins to share, and many failures to learn from. If anything else, I anticipate a hell of a ride.

Fire is bad.

I use this postcard as the banner for the blog because it represents a sentiment I’ve seen too many times at organizations (or schools for that matter). The reality of working at a non-profit is a lot like being a firefighter: you often find yourself frantically extinguishing flare-ups. This slows us down and derails us from doing innovative work. Conversely, like shown in the illustration, many times we find ourselves doing innovative work so we can put out fires better.

No one innovates in a fire. Emergencies don’t make for visionary thinking.

But we can have a plan. We can thoughtfully consider the future and what we’ll make of it.

This is what we’re trying to do with our project. We’ve identified a truly meaningful problem to solve. There’s a team of smart people working on the solution.

Because rather than putting out fires, I’d rather ignite social transformation.

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