“That is one of the reasons why I like to hang out with you: through you I get to live many firsts again.”
Alex told me this as we were lying on our backs after doing my first snow angel. I was listening to him as I had my eyes fixed on the grey sky, mesmerized by the snowflakes falling gently on my face. I could hear a soundtrack running in the back on my head. That is one of the moments where I can earnestly say I experienced an overwhelming sense of awe. The world was new again, if only for a couple of minutes.
St. Augustine is famous for saying that ‘the World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.’ His sentiments have proved true time and time again especially as I reflect back on an individual level on what has been almost 12 months of my Atlas Corps fellowship experience.
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I was sitting on a plane. That part is for sure. I am trying hard to remember the exact words that I was reading during the flight from Sydney to Singapore exactly two years ago. They elude me and I predict they will continue to do so for the rest of the night, so I will cease to attempt to remember that preface to a chapter in my Spanish copy of the “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi, which is comfortably sitting inside a cardboard box in a basement in Monterrey, Mexico. But the reason I was painstakingly trying (and failing) to remember the exact phrasing is that it somehow comes back to me when thinking about what I experienced two weeks ago. I do not think these two events have a logical connection, but I can tell that in a deep level of my subconsciousness these two events, set apart by two years time and half a world of distance, are intimately close.
Chiedza means “light”. We sat at the restaurant after a long walk and little after reading “Four score and many years ago…” engraved on the wall. “Guys, do you know what’s for dessert?” said one of my new friends who had just came back to the table with information to share. She inserted a perfectly timed dramatic pause. “Rice pudding!!” she interjected with a delight I have rarely seen. It was May the 6th, I had already been away from home for 11 days, and I had just witnessed a person completely light a room. I had never seen anyone shine so bright. I invite you to take a look at Chiedza Gadzirayi’s blog. You will see why her name is so appropriate.
During a recent event at a foreign Embassy in DC I met one of the most interesting cultural ambassadors I have ever had the pleasure of encountering; charming, accessible, and full of local flavor. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce, the Mexican Avocado! I can assure you, this is not a joke. As we were waiting in the Embassy lobby we saw crate after crate of avocados leave the building. Naturally, my colleagues and I had to ask our host about it.
Just when we thought the Internet was over Ellen’s “best selfie ever”, NASA introduces the #globalselfie (Will the madness ever end? Does it have to end?).
In celebration of earth day (April 22) NASA prompted us all to take a selfie and post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. The bonus? NASA* will use the individual pictures tagged to create a mosaic image of Earth built bit by bit with selfies (talk about taking the trend to the next level!). There were selfies of people in landmarks and beautiful sunrises, but there were also people in bathroom stalls and other less than flattering pictures. So why do we do it? Has the need to have a social media imprint won over the need for privacy?
In 2011, Atlas Corps and Anna Flores (American Express) celebrated achieving our “50 in the 50th” goal with support from the American Express Foundation.
Yes, the headline is true! The American Express Foundation just announced a three-year partnership to support the expansion of Atlas Corps.
In 2011, the American Express Foundation helped double the size of Atlas Corps as we achieved our goal of 50 in the 50th—to engage 50 nonprofit leaders as Atlas Corps Fellows in the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps and our 5th Anniversary. Now, in 2012, we take that partnership to the next level as we initiateVision 2015—a three-year scaling strategy to expand our program to engage 100 Fellows per year. The American Express Foundation will support Vision 2015 with a three-year, $150,000 commitment that will support the expansion and enhancement of the Atlas Corps model.
One of the most important forces, I’d say the main tool, which can have a Fundraiser or even the responsible for government relations of the organization is the ability to show the impact of the organization’s work.
Here there will be a great debate on criteria, some will say that there are some organizations working more on marketing than they actually do on projects or programs.
and could be true but the reality is in any plan for growth and sustainability can not miss a branding strategy for the organization.
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