A Conversation with a New Generation of Leaders

By LIFT on June 19, 2012

Categories: Events, Our Work

LIFT-Boston piloted a new event to welcome new friends to LIFT’s work and community.  “A Conversation with a New Generation of Leaders”, which was held at the Boston College Club on Tuesday, June 12, gave guests the opportunity to learn from the perspective of our volunteers as they tackle the challenges of poverty on the frontlines and dedicate themselves to expanding opportunity.  Nearly 70 guests—many new to LIFT—were in attendance and participated in the discussion led by LIFT-Boston Board Member and City Year Vice President, Charlie Rose.

The program commenced with Rose inviting guests to turn to someone they did not know, introduce themselves, and share why the poverty discussion is important to them. Guests were also encouraged to ask questions of the volunteers.  Questions regarding the importance of community partnerships to LIFT’s work and how clients learn about LIFT were put forth. Volunteers explained the barriers and systematic challenges that their clients face living in or near poverty. They stressed the building of trusting relationships between volunteer and client and the importance developing these for the long term.  Volunteers, through sharing a number of their client’s stories, praised them for their perseverance and also dispelled many of the preconceived notions about individuals living in or near poverty.

Maggie Selvin, a Tuft’s student who has volunteered at LIFT since her freshman year in 2009 and most recently served as Student Director in LIFT’s Somerville office, further explained the transformative experience that occurs for both client and volunteer as they partner to address a client’s needs and goals. She expressed that everything that she does at LIFT will affect her social justice work in the future.

LIFT National Board Chair Michael Gilligan delivered the closing remarks stating that “LIFT provides hope to get to a better place, economic stability, and mobility while calling itself to a higher vision in changing the face of poverty”.  Guests were then invited to the opportunity to stay connected to LIFT and support LIFT’s mission and critical work in a number of ways.

The Boston College Club provided an ideal venue for this energized and thoughtful discussion.  LIFT is extremely grateful to LIFT-Boston Board Chair, Steve Kenney and his wife, Lisa, for hosting this meaningful event which spotlighted poverty and how we can collectively and creatively tackle this injustice that ultimately affects the well being of us all.