Our fearless founder evolved into our chief visionary officer!
Earlier this year, the R.J. Leonard Foundation’s founder Jo Leonard moved into a new role as our Chief Visionary Officer. We recently sat down with Jo to talk about her new position and her thoughts about the future.
How was the transition to Chief Visionary Officer?
It has been very interesting for me. As you can imagine I felt protective about who I wanted leading this very personal initiative. After interviewing a number of candidates for the role I was relieved to find that one of our own was the best candidate for the job. Caitlin has been working with us since our launch, and so I felt very confident in not just her abilities but her passion and commitment. This made it much easier for me personally.
How is your new role as Chief Visionary Officer different than your previous role as Executive Director? How have your tasks changed?
I’m definitely not as involved in the day to day as I used to be, which is lovely of course, as it gives me more time to work on other projects. Beyond supporting the team as they continue with the transition, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ideas that can improve our programs. I am an avid listener to local media broadcasts, which often highlight local social programs that can be of value to our Fellows (foster care youth we serve). For example, we connected one of our Fellows to Zip Code Wilmington, a fantastic coding program. Sam* excelled in the program and now works for a large investment company, earning a salary that gives him a wonderful quality of life for his new family.
What are you hoping to achieve as Chief Visionary Officer in the next year, or maybe in the next month?
I think the year is a better question than the month. It’s hard to be a visionary every day!
Making connections is what I love to do. Uncovering new supporters and new programs and connecting them to the RJLF keeps the organization fresh and innovative, and engages Bucks and Montgomery County residents in a cause that we can all feel great about. We live in a county of disparate opportunities and overall quality of life. When we share our wisdom, effort and wealth with those who have less opportunity than ourselves, everyone wins.
Longer term? I have a lot of big ideas. We are always on the look out for smart, vibrant board members who love the idea of changing the trajectory of someone’s life for the better. With this new team in place, I am confident the big ideas will come to fruition over the next 5 years. And I can’t wait to see it all manifest!
The vision for the RJLF remains the same. It’s quality over quantity, changing the lives of our Fellows in meaningful ways. Our program’s attention to detail and involvement in almost every aspect of our Fellows’ lives is what sets us apart.
Meet Jo and Caitlin at Heart for Change, the R.J. Leonard Foundation's largest annual fundraiser!
* Names and identifying information have been changed to protect the confidentiality and safety of Fellows involved in the R.J. Leonard Foundation's programming.
SPONSORSHIP opportunities are available!
We all want to make a difference in someone’s life. We, at the R.J. Leonard Foundation, are making a difference in many lives, every day, and we do it with the help of our Mentors, Sponsors, Donors, and Volunteers. Join our growing list of sponsors for our largest fundraiser of the year!
Build goodwill in our community and provide your company with another vehicle to highlight your services and capabilities. Accept our “challenge” to become a sponsor for our annual fundraising event. Your sponsorship will defer the costs associated with hosting this wonderful event, which include venue costs, entertainment and speaker fees, and program printing. Learn about our different levels of sponsorship by emailing email@example.com.
Auction donations appreciated!
Contribute to the success of Heart for Change by donating a live or silence auction item or experience.
The RJLF is requesting auction items for our upcoming celebration. Contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 1138, Doylestown, PA, 18901. Auction items can be mailed through email request: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our theme for this year’s event is “Enriching Experiences.” Vacation homes and concert, theater, and sporting event tickets are gratefully accepted. Cash donations, jewelry, and beautiful items are welcome.
Your critical support will provide an immediate impact on our Fellows. Their list of needs is constant from new tires to a new car. Consider becoming a sustaining donor in RJLF's Friends Launching Futures monthly support fund, or make a one-time donation below:
Thank you for your heart and for making a difference in someone’s life!
The R.J. Leonard Foundation: What We Do
We educate, initiate careers, and personally mentor young adults who are aging out of the foster care system; we empower them to succeed, free of government assistance for the rest of their lives.