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Yesterday at had the amazing opportunity to give back and provide my testimonial for UNCFs' Annual MLK Breakfast. I was asked by Laverne McCartney-Knighton, the Area Development Director for UNCF.
I had the opportunity to reflect on being a two time UNCF Scholar and share my appreciation with over 2,000 people in attendance. Not to mention sharing the stage with national figures, CNN News Anchor Don Lemon and UNCF President Dr. Michael Lomax.
My message...I Can...
Copy of my Speech
If you think you are beaten, you are;If you think you dare not, you don't.If you'd like to win, but think you can'tIt's almost a cinch you won't.If you think you'll lose, you've lost.For out in the world we findSuccess begins with a fellow's will:It's all in his state of mind.If you think you're outclassed, you are:You've got to think high to rise,You've got to be sure of yourself beforeYou'll ever win that prize.Life's battles don't always goTo the stronger or faster man,But sooner or later the man who winsIs the one who thinks he can.Thinking by Walter D. Wintle
The Idea that I can...has been a theme throughout my life.
27… I was 27 years old when I was accepted into a 4 year program at Xavier University of Louisiana. Being a recipient of the UNCF Minnesota Student Aid Scholarship helped ease my nervousness to move over 1,000 miles away from my Minnesota home to Louisiana.
Despite any external or internal doubt...believe you can. Listen to your internal voice even if you feel emotional doubt in your abilitiesBe brave and challenge yourself.
UNCF invested in me twice and as an educator I am proud to now help students and other educators internalize the idea of I Can. Thanks to UNCF I am 1 of 450,000 students with a college degree and career.
Believe the investments made to UNCF have a tremendous impact on our students, their careers, our communities and our country. My name is Jonathan Christopher William Jones and I am your dividend.
This past Saturday I was introduced to Headwaters Foundation for Justices' The Giving Project, Headwaters staff and the 25 other amazing cohort participants.
I will be participating in the 5th Cohort over a sixth month period to advance Social Justice Philanthropy. Focusing on the root causes of social, economic, and environmental injustice. We will be focused on Fundraising & Funding through community organizing.
We will be setting a fundraising goal in the coming weeks, providing a personal meaningful gift and begin raising funds for The New Majority Fund.
The Giving Project Goals
One of the activities we did was Inspired by Marshall Ganz.
The Story of SELF, US, NOW Framework:
My Values: Learning, Ideas, Collaboration, Diversity, Equity, Empowerment.
My Hopes: Grow my understanding of philanthropy, develop my skills as fundraiser, tie my cohort experience back to my business and connect with other Changemakers in the Twin Cities.
Shaped Me: Adopted, Multi-Racial backgrounds, my mother, my educational training.
Stirs Me: Ideas, Students, opportunity, and possibility of change.