A few weeks back I attended an EMC sponsored Women's West Coast Leadership and community partner event hosted by Sheryl Chamberlain, one of the 39 innovative individuals profiled in my book.
I took full advantage of this opportunity to wander away from my table display to learn about some of the small, local businesses in my community.
I wasn't surprised to discover that more than half of the small business owners and co-founders at the event were women and men who had reinvented themselves--in some cases over the course of decades--in a quest to transform their lives and the lives of others.
I stopped to chat with Sara Draffin and Iram Jabbar of Spark, a non-profit with a focus on helping underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia to become motivated learners and connected community members through apprenticeships. According to Draffin, nearly all Spark students come from neighborhoods where dropout rates exceed 30%. If you're interested in nurturing the next generation through mentoring and volunteerism be sure to check out their site.
A passionate conversation about female leadership with one of my table neighbors, cultural psychologist Jeanne Nidorf, Co-Founder of TWI, Turkish Women's Initiative, focused on how this non-profit looks to change the following stats:
- 52% of Turkish women aged 15-29, neither go to school nor work
- Percentage of university-educated women who work has declined to around 66%