Meet Our New Board Members – Chiquita Serpas
A Board of Directors is an essential (and required) piece of a nonprofit, responsible for guiding the organization toward a sustainable future. YNPN Phoenix’s future is bright as ever as we welcome some of the Valley’s top young talent to our board in 2016. Get to know them and say hi next time you see them at a YNPN Phoenix program!
Name, position, organization
Chiquita Serpas, Chief Operating Officer, Editha House Foundation
Other professional involvement/accomplishments
Leading for Change 2016 Fellow
How long have you been a YNPN Phoenix member?
Over a year, since February 2015
Favorite YNPN event or memory?
The first YNPN event I attended – Leadership Roundtable, January 2015. I had recently moved to Phoenix and was looking for ways to engage with the non profit community. Through some research I came across the YNPN Phoenix website and decided to attend an event. I was really pleased with the experience, I got to connect with many and learned about leadership programs throughout the valley. Attending this event eventually lead to me applying to the Leading for Change Fellowship. I have made so many professional and personal connections! I can honestly say YNPN has really opened doors for me.
Favorite place in Phoenix to grab coffee?
What was it about your organization that made you want to be involved?
I’m a huge public health advocate so working with cancer patients is right up my alley. Providing something as simple as housing can make a huge difference when traveling to receive treatment away from home. Having a support system that can direct you to resources during your time of need is invaluable as some of our guests describe. Many cancer patients are forced to make many sacrifices (including financial) to seek treatment. Some have to resort to sleeping in their car, caregivers will sleep in hospitals, and some who have no financial resources go to the homeless shelter. For me seeing a guest with limited resources walk into a room that has been customized to meet their needs start crying because they finally have a place to rest and call home makes me feel like I am making a difference; to me that’s what matters.
Tell us about one of the most valuable things you’ve learned from working for your organization, or nonprofit organizations in general.
A simple day is enough to change someone’s life. Whether you are working behind the scenes or working directly with people in the nonprofit sector trust and believe that what you do everyday makes a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes it may not seem like it but collaborative efforts make a difference.
NPR’s TED Radio Hour
What one piece of advice would you offer someone who’s new to the nonprofit industry?
Be prepared to wear many hats! Depending on the size of the organization there may be times when you will have to step into a role that you may not have much experience in so be open to learning.
What do you hope to contribute to YNPN Phoenix as a new board member?
I hope to engage as many young professionals as possible and get them connected to the wonderful resources YNPN Phoenix has to offer.