the power of the network
This past weekend, on a late afternoon run to the grocery store, I caught a few minutes of Kelly Corrigan Wonders on NPR. It just so happened that, at the time, Corrigan and her guest Lande Ajose were discussing the power of networks, specifically those built over the course of a college education.
“The power of a network is not just ... I have proximity to this person, it’s the actual moving from casually knowing someone to getting to know them better and well enough that they’re willing to share their network with you,” said Ajose. She added that when networking relationships remain transactional, they’re less beneficial.
“Right, because they’re not going to call their uncle to see if they can get you an internship,” Corrigan said by way of example.
This struck a chord with me, as it instantly reminded me of the goal of RJLF. When we connect a Fellow with a Mentor, we aren’t just connecting them with one support person but with a network of support that includes their Mentor, the RJLF team and the community of resources we have established throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties. We are asking and encouraging each Fellow to be open to relationships that extend beyond transactions to meaningful, mutually beneficial connections. In doing so, we offer our Fellows the opportunity not just to complete their education or launch a career but also to become a connection within that network - to be able to be called upon by another in need in the future.
At RJLF, we understand and place great value on the power of the network. We are in awe of the resources and opportunities that have sprung up from our network, and we are constantly looking to build upon it.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the RJLF network, contact us here. To hear the full Kelly Corrigan Wonders show, click here.
back to school
It may only be mid-July, but stores throughout the area have already made the change from their summer stock to back to school. Bookbags, notebooks, crayons and more fill the aisles previously occupied by pool floats, picnic baskets and fairy lights. While it may seem too soon for this transition, for many parents, it’s a welcome reminder to get started early. Not only does summer school shopping help lessen late-August panic, but it could - if budgeted properly - spread out the cost, as well.
After all, back to school isn’t cheap.
On average, parents spend more than $500 a year on school supplies for their children. This includes not just the long classroom-specific lists (which last year saw the addition of hand sanitizer, masks and disinfectant wipes) but needed electronics and clothes as well. For many, these costs are overwhelming if not unattainable. Not everyone has the money needed to comply with expectations.
This is often true for our Fellows. Those with kids are most commonly single parents, often college students themselves, trying to make ends meet. And while we have some amazing community partners - One Simple Wish and The Vine - who so often help our Fellows with the bulk of these costs, we can’t always cover everything. But we would like to, and for that, we need your help.
To help our Fellows prepare to return to college this fall and our Fellows’ children prepare for the new school year, click here to learn more about donating and/or how to contact RJLF.
still i rise
RJLF partnered with Sunshine Letter Co. to create a sign that will be available on Sunshine Letter Co’s site starting this week! For every sign sold, $5 will be donated to RJLF.
The sign reads “Still I Rise”
The quote was recommended by our Fellow Ana. Ana first read Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” at a time when she was struggling. The words struck a chord with her and have served as a source of inspiration and strength ever since. “It means everything to me,” she says. “No matter what life throws at me, no matter how many times I get knocked down, I will always pick myself back up and keep going.”
Check out the sign here!