The best part of my job is that I get to meet passionate, inspiring do-gooders around the world. And it seems that no matter the location or work, the challenge is always the same. From healthcare advocates in Nepal, child welfare champions in Liberia, green space crusaders in NYC, and foundation executives in Canada, we are globally struggling with the same two questions: How do we best demonstrate our impact? And where do we go from here?
I first encountered this question as an 8th grade public school teacher. I watched the field take the lofty, honorable desire to quantify a student’s success in school and transform it into a single metric that assessed how well a student did on a cumulative, standardized test. As a special educator, this struck me as particularly problematic. There had to be a better way, and I sought to find it.
I left the field of education and went back to school to study social work, international public health, and evaluation. Around the same time, I started consulting with nonprofits and government agencies in their pursuit to answer questions of impact and next steps. It was during this time that I met my co-founder, Wheeler, and it wasn’t much longer until Evaluation + Learning Consulting was born. The work quickly escalated after I graduated three years later and with two master’s degrees. I left school better equipped with the vocabulary and tools that international players use when answering questions about program evaluation and planning.
Now, I’m living my wildest dreams. Wheeler and I have curated a talented team of consultants with a wide variety of backgrounds unified under a common mission: to shift civic-minded organizations towards a more data-driven way of being. I use my research-based, participatory approach to program planning and evaluation to help awesome people be even better at what they do. We define intended impacts and outcomes together, we develop culturally grounded assessments, and we build the skills needed to carry on the work when my contract has ended.
When I started down this path, I never imagined that I’d circle back to teaching. And yet, today, I realize how critical skill-building is to this work. And frankly, it’s something I’m really good at. I currently travel the country – and sometimes the world – teaching an average of 30 workshops per year. Every semester I adjunct at NYU, building the quant skills of budding evaluators.
If I were to sum up my work in a sentence, it would be that I help inspiring clients to tell the world their story and be even more impactful than they were when we met. I love my work and, when you’re ready, I look forward to working with you, too.