As a mentee in the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NBLP) and later a mentor, I witnessed how worthy causes could galvanize MBA candidates, experienced professionals, and nonprofit leaders to combine their expertise, skills, and enthusiasm to take action and advance social justice.

During my second year, I worked with the New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) and received an education in how professionals across sectors address some of the city’s most pressing social issues. I observed my mentor, Diana Taylor ’80, working with the organization’s Executive Director and larger board to surface creative ways to enact change. She welcomed me into the conversation around the strategy and priorities for the NYWF and exposed me to the exciting exchange of ideas and energy at the intersection of board service and a nonprofit's mission. This experience shaped my career path. I ultimately transitioned from the corporate world to an innovative education organization—the Cristo Rey Network, where I serve as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem.

I have continued to see the impact of MBA service to a nonprofit’s mission and the power of the Columbia network through the NBLP. The program enlivened my MBA experience and impacted my career path. The NBLP also introduced me to the great sense of possibility sparked when individuals come together across industries, functions, and stages in their professional lives to advance an organization’s mission and create opportunities for some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.