Melinda Myers: Empowering Families

At NPQ, respect for our readers’ work, intelligence, and insight is core to all we do. And, indeed, research says that the nonprofit workforce is motivated differently than the other two sectors. So, we thought we would go out and ask them. The result is this special online series that will run every workday for the next month, illuminating what motivates each of twenty profiled workers.

We think much of what they say will resonate with you, but this is also who NPQ serves each day. They are why our work is so important, and NPQ can’t exist without your contributions.

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Why NPQ serves Melinda proudly…

My journey in the non-profit sector began shortly after I completed my Master of Arts in Teaching. I was considering if I wanted to teach or if I wanted to do other work that involved children. After I took some time to reflect, I chose to take a position with the State of Alaska at the Office of Children’s Services, in Child Protective Services (CPS). In my role as an investigator into reports of harm to children, I realized the importance of supporting families and young children as early as possible – before they reach the point of coming into contact with CPS. I remember times when I would have to take children into State’s custody. As I held them, I would think to myself, “if only I could have connected with you and your family earlier, we could have potentially worked together to get you the support you needed to avoid this.” After these experiences, I pursued nonprofit work in the early childhood field so I could work with others who were passionate about helping parents with young children get a good start. That work led me to my current position as COO/Program Manager at thread – Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Network. Our mission is to advance the quality of early education and child development by empowering parents, educating child care professionals, and collaborating with our communities. What I love about my job is that I am now supporting families who have children or are about to have a child, with information about the importance of early childhood, supports available to families throughout our state, and quality child care. By doing this we are helping families lay the critical groundwork so their children, and themselves, have a brighter future.

Why I Stay in the Nonprofit Sector

I choose to stay in the nonprofit sector because of the people, whether they are thread team members, clients, or other nonprofit colleagues. The people who work in the sector, I have found, are really incredible people. Passionate about their work, skilled, and want to help have a strong community. And the people who access the services we provide are taking action and wanting to connect with others for support. It shows the services we provide are needed at a local, state and national level.

Why Melinda Cares About NPQ

NPQ is a valuable resource to me and others in my organization. Often times articles, ideas, and resources are shared among our team to help with strategic planning, provide discussion topics, and this helps us to improve our services. I appreciate that the resources that are provided are relevant; cover a broad range of topics; and reflect issues facing the nonprofit sector at a local, national and global level. Thank you NPQ for being an incredible resource to the nonprofit sector.