2015 Year In Review


What song was stuck in your head in 2015?

“Getting Ready to Get Down” by Josh Ritter - Laura Rooney (Director of Finance and Operations)

“Satisfied” from Hamilton - Alyson Weiss (Communications and Marketing)

“Style” by Taylor Swift - Kristen Coco (Events and Programming)

“Renegades” by X Ambassadors - Kim Kawecki (Communications and Marketing)

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift - Shannon Garber (Co-Director of Events and Programming) and Dawn Lavallee (Communications and Marketing)

“Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento - Alicia Ridenour (Director of Board Talent and Recruitment)

“Lean On” by Major Lazor Feat. MØ and DJ Snake - Beverlie Sopiep (Communications and Marketing

Is there a documentary, book, or article that changed the way you thought about something in 2015?

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs is one of the best books I have ever read. It changed the way I view the kids my organization works with and the issues our society faces around equity in our education system.
- Dawn Lavallee 

I read a few books this year that have greatly informed my understanding of systemic racism in this country. These include the following:

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in America by Allyson Hobbs
- Alicia Ridenour 

I started following Humans of New York this year and I love it. It puts things into perspective and makes you realize that there are people out there who feel the same way you do.
- Kristen Coco 

9 Ways to Be More Mindful
- Laura Rooney 

I loved Nonprofit with Balls' post on the myth of nonprofit sustainability. It made me think critically about the ways we force nonprofits to act like businesses, even if it doesn't help them achieve their mission, and thus, set them up to fail. It also says a lot about how little we value service delivery on its own. You can read the article here.
- Alyson Weiss 

What did you do that was out of your comfort zone this year? What was a first for you in 2015?

I took on a development role in my position this year, which required a lot of event planning, which is something I am completely new at. Having to manage teams of volunteers and be the point person on several different committees was new and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
-Kristen Coco 

I started taking improv classes! Improv is challenging and also so fun.
- Kim Kawecki 

I actually started the process of applying to grad school. I've been thinking about it for years and finally took the first steps and the dreaded exam.
-Dawn Lavallee 

A few months ago, I joined a rock climbing gym (first gym membership I’ve ever bought) and have been going a few times a week since then. This is momentous for me, since I always avoided exercise and sports growing up. Rock climbing is fun for me because it feels like a puzzle and it’s amazing once you figure it out or get strong enough to complete it.
-Beverlie Sopiep 

I went to a large industry conference for the first time.
- Laura Rooney 

I negotiated at work.
- Shannon Garber 

How has YNPN Boston helped you grow professionally this past year?

This year, I transitioned from serving as a YNPN Boston Ambassador to becoming a board member, and although that transition happened fairly recently, it has already helped me grow professionally. This is my first time sitting on a board. earning how boards operate, being responsible for a function of the board/organization, and collaborating with my fellow board members on organizational strategic priorities have made this a tremendous growth experience.
- Alicia Ridenour 

The YNPN Boston leadership pipeline provided numerous opportunities to "ladder" my skillset - joining the organization with what I know (Operations), and using the safe space at YNPN Boston to expand my expertise (Finance).
- Laura Rooney 

I led a project for my team and learned a lot about workflow, delegation, and coaching versus editing.
- Alyson Weiss 

It has shaped the way I view the nonprofit sector, and brought to light issues facing the nonprofit community in Boston through discussions at networking and professional development events. It has helped me develop my networking and organizational skills.
-Kristen Coco 

YNPN Boston continues to connect me with awesome, driven, passionate young professionals, who have helped me learn, question, and grow.
- Kim Kawecki 

I've had the opportunity to meet so many great people doing amazing things in the greater Boston community. The biggest impact I think YNPN Boston has had on me professionally is helping me to really understand what is out there and learn from so many other young professionals who are great at what they do.
-Dawn Lavallee 

My various YNPN Boston projects helped me gain experience in order to transition to a new career. I was able reference that experience in a job interview to land a job doing the technical side of communications. I also love absorbing and integratingall of the great ideas from the communications and marketing team into my professional career.
-Beverlie Sopiep 

What trends are you predicting or preparing for?

Telling stories through social media to show impact is an ongoing trend in the nonprofit sector that will affect what I do in 2016.
-Kristen Coco 

Closer collaboration in the NPO sector.
- Shannon Garber 

I am preparing for more focus on technology and innovation by continuing to improve my technical chops.
- Kim Kawecki 

I think the nonprofit sector is trending more and more towards evidence-based approaches to solving social problems. Therefore, our nonprofit is on the long journey of figuring out how to measure our outcomes to make the case that our programs have impact.
- Alicia Ridenour 

I think millennials in the nonprofit sector are going to need master’s degrees to be competitive. Since many of us graduated college during the recession, a lot of people delayed bleak job opportunities by going straight into graduate programs. Now, the first wave has graduated and is competing for jobs that don't require master’s degrees but do favor candidates who have them. I think this will become a sector-wide trend and we'll increasingly need graduate credentials to move up in the sector.
- Alyson Weiss 

What is your professional development resolution or guiding word for 2016?

Next year, I aim to take 12 professional development classes or substitute a class with a book. I want to get in the habit of continuous learning and applying what I learn to my career and to YNPN Boston.
-Beverlie Sopiep 

Set more thoughtful goals and stick to them.
-Dawn Lavallee 

Resolution: back to school! Guiding word: novelty.
-Shannon Garber 

To start before I'm ready.
-Kim Kawecki 

Cultivating relationships.
-Kristen Coco 

Need help setting your 2016 goals?

Fill out our guide to reflect on your previous year and set yourself up for the year ahead.


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