The idea of starting a non-profit organization while your husband is in grad school and you have two young children at home is daunting. But, I like to say that Cultured Kids started me rather than the other way around. The whole process, while difficult, was just meant to be. The way before me was lit bright and I could not turn away from it. I had to see what was in store.
When you make a decision to be lead in such a way there is one thing you cannot do without; Faith! I had to believe that I was going to be provided the funding when I needed it, the clients to use our services, the staff to support us, etc. Though almost nothing is happening according to my time table, one thing did, and it is arguably the most important of all; my regional director for Massachusetts, Irena Stanic Rasin.
Irena and I met, by coincidence, at an Arlington networking event. By coincidence because she had only attended the meeting to support a friend that was never able to make it. I like to think that she was brought there that evening for myself and Cultured Kids. At the time neither of us had any thought or idea about how we could help one another but just enjoyed chatting. It was not until later that I started to realize how much she had to offer me and the organization.
Irena started to volunteer for Cultured Kids before I knew anything about our upcoming move to the DC Metro area. My husband was in his first year of the MBA program at BC and we were just trying to get by. During the months prior to our move Irena had shown support through her knowledge and professional expertise, as well as though emotional support and encouragement.
When my husband took a job at Deloitte in Roslyn,VA she was the only person I could imagine leaving to direct our programs in the Greater Boston area. Fortunately, she was excited about the opportunity. She takes with her a matched passion and drive to myself when it comes to a heart for cultural cohesion and education. She has a wealth of experience teaching all ages, experience with her own non-profit (The Croatian School of Boston), experience as a mother and world traveler, strong organizational, administrative, and editing skills, and a heart for the nations.
I am so thankful for her and for the opportunity to publicly welcome her to our small but ever growing team!