We Can't Do It Alone

“It’s been the most humbling and sacrificial experience I have had”, says Kisha Webster, a former principal and consultant to school districts and principals. But she is not talking about this work, as she is on hiatus from it. She is referring to her current work as a Community and Education AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Open Works, the makers space in the Greenmount West neighborhood.

What can we all learn from Kisha? A bunch.

Kisha is also the President of the Greenmount West Community Association and with that has also taken on leadership of the newly founded Greenmount West Community Center. The Community Center was established in just two months in response to the neighborhood kids having nothing constructive to do. Open Works found children spending a hours of their time there, hanging out, just to be in a welcoming and positive environment. Kisha and her team saw a need and addressed it.

Kisha says she originally thought that she could take on this work alone, but found it to be “so overwhelming”. She said it made her reach out to others. She is clear that the resources and expertise others bring to the table is key to the success. Kisha’s VISTA year ends mid September. She says that her goal is to set things in place and teach others, so that in her absence, things can continue to thrive. She is clear that this operation cannot rely only on her.

Kisha’s leadership shines through and her commitment and hard work is admirable and inspiring. She is leaving a meaningful imprint on a community by teaching others to do what she is gifted with -- leading, building camaraderie and making a vision a reality for the good of a community.

Kisha inspired me and left me with much to think about for my own work and volunteer efforts, so I thought I’d share her story with you. There are many take-aways from her work that are important for all of us.

3 Important Points & Resources

1.Build a program that stands without you. You are so valuable and your presence will be felt beyond your time with the organization if you build an excellent foundation with documented systems and process. Resource: How to Grow A Business That Can Run Without You

2.Good partnerships and/or strategic alliances are important and valuable. Beyond the type of partnership that means you give us money (we need those too), how does your work interconnect with that of other organizations? How can individuals support your work? How can you plan together to better serve your clients? Resource: The BridgeSpan Group has some very helpful information on this.

3.Go visit Open Works!  It is beautiful community space and has top of the line equipment for makers of all genres. They say, “We’ve built a place where anyone can build nearly anything–that’s where you come in”. Even if you are not naturally gifted in this area, it is very cool to see and they offer classes to help you hone your skills.

When you are maxed out within the capacity of our organization or need an outside perspective, KS Solutions will help. We will work at your side providing strategy, facilitation, planning and an extra set of skilled hands for a special project or to help excel your everyday work. You will feel confident that the work is in capable hands, so you can rest easy!

We offer a free 20 minute phone consultation to be a thought partner and/or talk about your projects. Contact us.