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7 Questions – Sveta Wilkson (Horton's Kids)

Let’s welcome to “7 cialis soft tavs Questions” … Sveta Wilkson, Development Coordinator of Horton’s Kids, which has served as a second family to over 1,500 children from the Ward 8 housing projects for two decades. Also … we are sending many Catalogue cheers to Horton’s Kids for receiving the 2011 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management just last night!

1. What was your most interesting recent project, initiative, partnership, or event?

Earlier this month, we hosted our third annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids fundraiser at Nationals Park. Guests got the chance to bat on the field with Nationals staff, take pictures with Screech, bid in a silent auction, and just have tons of fun at this private event at the ballpark. Children also raced Teddy, one of the Nationals Presidents mascots. Our Board of Directors and many generous corporate sponsors helped make this event a success and raised a 1/3 of this year’s operating budget.

2. What else are you up to?

Horton’s Kids is wrapping up our tutoring program for the school year and gearing up for summer. Every year, we have a six-week, literacy-focused summer camp for the younger children. I’m looking forward to helping out our education staff and attending field trips like exploring local museums and swimming at the pool.

The application process for the for the 2011 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management also helped us take a big picture look at all of our management practices, and I am looking forward to hearing other nonprofit leaders speak about what has worked for them.

3. Is there a moment, person, or event that inspired you to do this particular work?

I have been extremely fortunate to have great mentors both at Horton’s Kids and in my past jobs. After my sophomore year in college, I interned at a summer camp for refugee children. Recently, I’ve looked back on that time and realized that my supervisor at that job made a huge impact on my life. She had incredible passion for her work — you could just see it in every project she planned and her every interaction with the children.

But I also think that you have to find inspiration every day. At Horton’s Kids, seeing our volunteers and the children at programs is incredibly inspiring. Just a simple conversation with a child about their day at school is a great reminder about why I love my job.

When I first started working at Horton’s Kids, two staff members (including our current Executive Director) took me out to lunch and said that my work should always connect to helping improve the children’s lives. That was such a great message, and I often think back to it when I’m writing a grant at my desk. I love fundraising for this reason: I help connect donors and their resources to our amazing participants and programs.

4. Who is your hero in the nonprofit/philanthropy world?

I think “hero” is such a strong word, and it would be really hard to choose. Most people who work in the nonprofit field are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable, and put in many long hours.

5. What is the single greatest (and non-financial) challenge to the work that you do every day?

Time and resources! At Horton’s Kids, we always want to do more for the children.

6. What advice do you have for other people who want to work in your field?

Surround yourself with positive, smart, and passionate people who love their work and can inspire and challenge you. I can honestly say that this description fits all of my co-workers at Horton’s Kids.

7. What’s next?

Horton’s Kids is finishing up such a great year– we opened up a Community Resource Center in the children’s neighborhood, started new services for the parents, put in place our three-year strategic plan, and had strong fundraising strategies. I hope that FY12 will be equally successful!

EXTRA:?If you could have a power breakfast with any three people (living, dead, or fictional) who would they be?

Geoffrey Canada — the bold vision and scope of Harlem Children’s Zone is incredibly inspiring.

Justin Bieber — I would try to convince him to visit Horton’s Kids and sing a few songs with some of his biggest fans in our programs.

Oscar Wilde — It would certainly be a very interesting power breakfast!

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