Meet the new VP of Program Operations, Kelly Richardson

By Kelly Richardson, a reflection of her first week at Per Scholas.

You know that Per Scholas is serious about their social media when they draft a new employee to write a blog post in her very first week! In truth, I volunteered for this because I have learned so much in this first week, and I thought this would be a great chance to reflect.

Coming into this role as Vice President of Program Operations, I knew Per Scholas as a strong nonprofit organization with proven results. Now that I’m here, that perception has only been reinforced. It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog, but the people here are exceptionally talented, passionate, and kind. They care deeply about the success of the organization and of their students.

The best demonstration of this came on my very first day, when I attended a meeting with about 10 other staff members. Part of the agenda was to discuss stories of success throughout Per Scholas’ 20 year history. I was blown away not only by the stories, but that every single staff member remembered students from 1 year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago. Not only their names, but their backgrounds, the challenges they faced coming in, and their current positions.

Someone gave me great advice this week – they said to try to observe as much as possible while I still have “fresh eyes”. While there’s plenty of program operations work to be done (and I look forward to sharing my success and failures with you!), this week set the tone of never losing sight of why we’re all here – for the success of our incredible students.

Take a minute to reflect. What do you remember about your first week with your current organization?

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