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It has been an exciting year at Pathways to Growth! In 2019, we expanded our grant writing and management team, served over 40 nonprofits in several states through grant writing and capacity building services, taught 50 students grant writing skills and raised over $3,000,000 in grant dollars with an average ROI of over 500%. We are blessed to work with such a great group of grant writers and nonprofit organizations. Because our writers often work “behind the scenes,” we thought it would be fun to spotlight their favorite moments from the past year of hard work at Pathways to Growth.

“My favorite moment this year was watching one of our fearless and selfless leaders, Robbin Sotelo Redd (the Executive Director of the City of Tarpon Springs Housing Authority / Local Community Housing Corporation) be recognized for her life’s work at the Housing and Education Alliance’s 2019 HEART Awards. The HEART Awards are similar to the Academy Awards for the affordable housing field. She was selected as the winner of the most respected award of the evening – the Bob Samuels Leadership Award. It was a privilege to have played a small role in helping her to achieve this recognition and I will never forget her tears of joy and sincere surprise when they called her name in front of over 300 of her most esteemed colleagues, her Board Chair, and her employee. It was a great evening indeed!”

-Caterina Tassara, Writer

 

“The best for me personally was teaching the 16-hour grant writing classes at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay. A student told me this year that I seem like I could teach the class in my sleep because I know the material so well. It really is wonderful to be able to share my years of experience and give back for those in the nonprofit world who have poured into me over the years. I love knowing that my teaching will multiply to other writers, nonprofits and those in need into future generations. What a blessing!”

-Julé Colvin, President/CEO

 

“Continuing to learn about important issues in our society is the best part of being a grant writer for nonprofit organizations. This past year, there were two facts about homelessness in our country that I found especially shocking: 1) families now represent one-third of those experiencing homelessness, and 2) more than one-half of Americans received a means-tested benefit like food stamps, Medicaid, welfare, disability insurance or housing assistance, between 1997 and 2017. One-half of Americans! The work these nonprofit agencies do could not be more critical.”

-Diane DiGiacomo, Writer

 

“This year several of our clients received funding through the Lightning Community Hero Award as a result of some amazing, dedicated individuals who selflessly volunteer their time, talent and funds to improve the lives of those less fortunate. It is both humbling and incredibly rewarding to learn not only how these heroes help others but inspire those around them to do the same, starting a chain reaction that makes our community a better place to live.”

-Carolyn Miller, Writer

 

“In 2019 I had the pleasure of being assigned to write for The Florida Holocaust Museum. From the beginning I felt a powerful connection. And, as much as I gave, I got. I learned so much about the Holocaust, met Survivors and heard their stories, and stood in awe in front of Boxcar #113 069-5, trying to comprehend the terror and sadness of the women, men and children that were once inside it. Working with The FHM and winning grants for them was the highlight of my P2G year.”

-Sharon Fennell Kennedy, Writer

 

“The best part of my Pathways to Growth year was realizing that I am part of an amazing group of individuals that would be there to support me, yet most of us have never actually met face-to-face!”

-Alicia Kuranda, Writer

 

“This year, I helped a client complete the paperwork to turn an idea into an official 501(c)(3) organization. We worked closely together for several months to get the application together, and on December 10, her ‘God dream’ was approved by the IRS. As a result of our work together, this organization will enter 2020 with much greater potential to help victims of sex trafficking.  The best part of this job is meeting so many wonderful people who see a need and voluntarily step forward to give their time, talents, personal funds, and career path over to serving their community.”

-Sarah Bonnema, Writer

 

“My fondest Pathways to Growth moments of 2019 were visiting some of our nonprofit partners – hearing the precious little people of A Brighter Community sing some tunes, viewing the beautiful artwork of the talented clients of PARC, seeing a happy baby and mom enjoy lunch at ALPHA House of Pinellas County and attending the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new property of Dawning Family Services. We are proud to partner with these organizations, and many others, that make a difference every day in the lives of many.”

-Chrissy Bond, Nonprofit Management and Grants Specialist