In the spring of 2013, while I was frantically trying to finish up my master’s degree and administrative credential program, I received a call from Richard, my former teacher’s aide. He wanted to start up his own nonprofit organization based on this 10,000 PLUS project that he had begun a couple of years earlier and he wanted me to help him. Without really knowing what I was getting myself into, I agreed.
“Helping” quickly became “being board president”. The job came with a steep learning curve and at times I wasn't sure how to balance this role with my other roles at home and at work. However, in the end I gained much more than I ever gave: I met many interesting people from all different walks of life; I honed my leadership skills; and most importantly I gained the satisfaction of being part of an organization that inspires thousands of students each year.
It has been such an honor to serve as board president for the last four years. During my tenure I have seen the PLUS ME project grow from one program with one presenter to an organization that now offers four different programs with multiple presenters and volunteers. I am so proud of the work that our team has done under Richard’s dynamic leadership. As I step down from the board and into my new role as a volunteer, I look forward to seeing the PLUS ME project continue to grow and expand--inspiring more students here in Southern California and beyond….maybe even in Brazil!
- Vivian Chen, Founding Board President ('13 - '17)