NPO 005: Sharon Holdvogt (NPH USA Midwest Young Professionals Board)

Today's Guest: Sharon Holdvogt
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Sharon spent two years volunteering at an orphanage, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) in Guatemala.  While there,  Sharon taught English, founded a young women's empowerment program, and lead a youth leadership group.  After her two years of volunteering, Sharon moved to Chicago to attend Loyola University Chicago and receive her Masters of Education through the LU CHOICE program.  She taught middle school English and social studies in the Archdiocese of Chicago for five years and now works as a coordinator for the Corporate Work Study Program at Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, IL.  Sharon has been a member, and is the current chair, of the NPH USA Midwest Young Professionals board since it started in 2012.  She continues to visit the NPH Guatemala home as frequently as she can.

Nonprofit Spotlight: NPH USA
     NPH USA supports Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters"), which is raising more than 3,200 orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged boys and girls in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. An additional 2,300 children who live outside the homes receive scholarships, meals and healthcare. NPH community outreach programs provided over 100,000 services in 2016.
     NPH USA supports NPH through fundraising and volunteer programs. In addition to their national office, they have six regional offices, each working in tandem to build support for their mission.

Story of Good: "Javier"
     "Javier" was one of the older boys that Sharon met while volunteering in Guatemala. She shared how he grew as a leader and went on to pursue a degree in architecture. He has since had the opportunity to give back to the NPH community by designing and supporting the construction of a church! 

Lessons Learned:
     As the chair of a relatively new Young Professionals Board, Sharon gave great insight into what she has learned in managing, recruiting and building this board. Sharon recognizes that two key aspects to her board's success have been the support that the NPH USA Chicago office staff provides and the large amount of time she dedicates to helping this group. Young professionals have a different set of challenges that need to be accounted for that Sharon spells out really well (focus on career, time availability and propensity for moving). In acknowledging these obstacles, Sharon has found ways to engage each young professional in different ways. This is a great episode for anyone seriously considering adding a young professionals (or auxillary/associates board) to their support structure. Also, if you are passionate about a cause and want to consider forming or joining an associates board, this is a great listen!

Next Interview: Emily Richardson, Board Member for Nanubhai Education Foundation