This past weekend ComEd hosted fifty Chicagoland freshman students at the Art Institute of Chicago to further develop their STEM skills and enhance their understanding of the fundamentals of energy, smart-city technologies and sustainability. This session is a part of the ComEd HFS Chicago Scholars STEM Program that launched in December, offered exclusively to students in the HFS Scholars program, which helps socioeconomically-disadvantaged, and flourishing students attend top Chicago private high schools.
The STEM program includes five immersive workshops per academic year for four years where students gain project-based experience with the mentoring of professional engineers. The working session held on Saturday, March 2nd, was the third of the five workshops with the creative backdrop of the Art Institute of Chicago. Impressively, the students continue to show a consistent commitment to STEM education as well as a high level of engagement. ComEd mentor and Engineer for ComEd, Oke Chika also added to the students’ enthusiasm by leading interactive discussions regarding their future career opportunities and STEM applications in the real world.
When we talk about nonprofit capacity building, we typically refer to ways we can strengthen our organizations’ leaders and internal systems so that we can make a stronger impact to our clients and communities. We usually look at factors like board development, human resource development, financial management, networking ability, impact, and program management.
What about using thought leadership as a tool for nonprofit capacity building? Thought leadership is a long-term strategy, but, if used effectively, it may be leveraged to attract more funding; influence policy to create a more favorable environment for nonprofits; encourage funders to be more responsive to community needs; attract strong board members and community partners, and the list goes on. When organizations become thought leaders in their particular areas of expertise, life gets better for everybody involved. We will explore the various perspectives on thought leadership, what it is, and how to get there.