Earlier today TNKR held its first International Volunteer Leadership Academy General Meeting. This special TNKR project will give volunteers the opportunity to develop their skills while they help build TNKR internal capacity in terms of structure, know-how and finances.

The Academy’s first project is to work together on TNKR’s 9th English Speech Contest, to be held February 23, 2019. We have an even bigger challenge than in the past, because we have a larger room. Our host for the event, the Shin and Kim Law Office, moved to a different building.

The first cohort of the Volunteer Leadership Academy got together to plan strategy. IVLA Coordinator Karleta Peterson led the session, outlining the tasks that are facing us.

The volunteers then broke off into their respective teams, social and traditional media, event planning, and editing and writing teams. Of course, I joined every team.

We attempted this back in April 2016, but we weren’t ready as an organization and didn’t have anyone to lead the project at that time. We were in the process of becoming an official organization back then, and were so unstable financially that we decide to shelve the project until we had someone who could lead, as Karleta is doing.

We have a bigger room to fill for the upcoming speech contest, our biggest challenge in history.

Organizing events can be difficult. Very often, after our team has gone all out to recruit enough attendees, some people who haven’t helped out at all and didn’t register until the last minute (or will pay at the door) often remark, “Hey! You should have gotten a larger room.”

Well, this is what a larger room looks like, and we have the challenge of filling it so the refugees will have a capacity crowd listening to them.

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-future-ted-talk-about-north-korea-tickets-55152225792

Here’s the podium the refugees will be speaking from or nearby on the 23rd.

Our second project for IVLA will be helping with our fundraiser on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Things are looking good. Karleta has added structure to the project that TNKR announced early last year. We were looking for someone who could lead the project. In November, Karleta stepped forward. A lot of credit also goes to Academic Coordinator Janice Kim. She is now running Track 1, which means that my hands were free to start this project we have had in mind for some time, but lacked the capacity to establish. Today we took the a big step in the right direction.

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