I started my service to TeenNow California (then called CACSAP) in 2003 as a regional coordinator on the Board of Directors. I had been working in adolescent sexual health for about four years, and had come in contact with CACSAP through the annual conference, and be meeting various board members on the It’s Up To Me Community Action Network. When the President at that time asked me to join the board, I remember feeling nervous. Did I have the time to commit to the organization? Did I have the expertise they were looking for? Never having served on a Board before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
What I found was a wonderful group of dedicated, caring professionals who were filled with energy and enthusiasm for the work we all do. Some had years of experience, while others were new to the field. What we all had in common was the passion for ensuring that all teens had opportunities and resources needed for success, and the commitment to the field that leads them to care deeply about best practices, advocacy, and training. My participation on the board taught me so much about the field of adolescent health, as well as the ins and outs of running an organization (we were an all-volunteer led agency at that time; we now have a small staff), and leadership skills that have served me very well throughout my career. And, I found friendship. To be able to spend time with a group of like-minded people who you admire and respect is a great thing, and I found that on the CACSAP Board.
I’m happy to say that those qualities still infuse the Board today. As Executive Director, I participate actively in Board meetings and I still learn from them and enjoy them as much as ever. Being on the Board is a wonderful opportunity for professional and leadership development, networking, and most important, a chance to really make a difference not just for TeenNow California, but for teens throughout the state and for the field of adolescent health. And, we’ve made it easier than ever to be a Board members. While attending the meetings in person is still highly encouraged (and the best way to really connect with each other), you can now attend virtually via conference call or Web meeting.
I highly encourage anyone who wants a great leadership experience and who really cares about the field to apply to be a Board member today. If you might be interested but have questions, you can contact me or the Board president, Brian Hayes, to talk more about the roles and responsibilities of Board members. And if you know someone else who would be great for the Board, please refer them to us! Help us guide this organization to be it’s best!
You can find information about the Board on our web site.