For the third stop on our #TBT Non-Profit tour, I’m sharing my experience as a business mentor to an organization that celebrates a 100% success rate of their graduates finishing school and pursuing higher education.
Circle de Luz is an organization that radically empowers young Latinas through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education. They begin to work with girls in 7th grade and continue through to high school graduation.
They first came on my radar in 2011, when they were a finalist for SEED20 Charlotte. They didn’t win the big prize but impressed many people in the community and later became an “investee” of Social Venture Partners Charlotte in 2014.
Nancy Covington and I were asked to be Co-Lead Partners for the 3yr term of investment. This meant that we were to mentor Circle de Luz through an evaluative process to help them center their mission and to prioritize activities that would result in more girls benefitting from the program.
During the past three years, Nancy and I closely examined all aspects of their staffing, programming, communications, and fundraising strategies. Skills that are transferable to analyzing the success of any organization.
We were also fortunate to work with Josh Jacobson of Next Stage Consulting who helped us hone in on the strategic initiatives we needed to do to bring this program to scale and Henry W. Lander who helped us define the “big rocks” of the program.
Circle de Luz proved to be one of the most “centered” groups that Social Venture Partners may ever see. Their well thought out and well executed program has resulted in 100% of their graduates finishing high school and pursuing further education. 100% success rate!
My involvement with this group has brought me into contact with so many incredible women who have gained the trust and admiration of the girls they serve, including the girls’ families and the larger non-profit community in Charlotte.
This program not only benefits the girl who participates, but also her younger siblings, cousins, parents, and neighbors who see possibilities they never imagined before. The Charlotte Opportunity Task Force tells us that “social capital” is a huge determinant of upward mobility. This organization has that in spades!
Check them out at https://circledeluz.org and become a Mija for the class of 2023.
Many Thanks to the wonderful people of Circle de Luz- Rosie Molinary, Mary Kathryn Ross Elkins, Jocelyn Negron-Rios, Karina Vogel; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; and Communities In Schools.