Monday, March 28, 2011

Proximity to greatness

Add to the list of great things about DC:

  • proximity to greatness
Where else can you go and find the epicenter of policy making, national defense and ambassadors from countries all over the world? 
Only Washington DC. 
This city that hold some of the brightest thinkers of our nation and is exploding with power and greatness. 
When thinking about all the political power that lies within this city, many people don't know that a majority of associations and non-profit organizations are headquartered in the DC/MD/VA area. 
One organization that is near and dear to my heart and headquartered right in downtown DC is the American Public Health Association (APHA). 
As a long time member and volunteer of APHA,  I have spent many days meeting in the headquarters office in DC. 
This weekend a new batch of energized and excited student members of APHA descended upon DC to meet at APHA for a planning meeting that would set the stage for the next 2 years of APHA's student organization, Student Assembly. 
As Past Chair of APHA Student Assembly, I was excited and encouraged to welcome this group to DC and pose the challenge to them, "How can you make this organization relevant to your fellow peers?"
The ideas and suggestions came spilling forth and the energy was palpable. 
Although, I know that these students are the best of the best and strong leaders within their communities and school, there is something about being in DC that fosters greatness and motivates change. 
These student board members meet regularly on monthly conference calls, but nothing replaces the camaraderie and dialogue that were taking place in this meeting.

While I was not able to stay for the entire meeting, after reading the meeting minutes, it was evident that work was accomplished and direction was set. 
This group of 20 students, ranging in age and educational level, shaped the future of one of the largest student health organizations in the country! In just 1.5 days! (and had a lot of fun in the time between meetings!)
I have worked on many boards in my past and it is always encouraging to work with students that have energy and vision. Decisions are made quicker, action items are identified and tasked out, and results are seen immediately. 

In an age where students want information fast and at their figure tips, non-profit organizations are struggling to stay relevant and stay afloat in a tough economy. It is going to take fresh, innovative and resourceful thinking to keep members engaged and coming back for more! I am confident that this is a great group of APHA student board members that accomplished everything they set out to do, but also set the stage for greatness and relevancy that will keep this organization thriving. 

Good work APHA Student Assembly!
 I can't wait to see and hear about all the wonderful work you will be doing in 2011-2012. 

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