The Re-Launch of YAO in San Diego: We’re Back!
Becoming a Young Ambassador was one of the best decisions I’ve made because I get to be part of an organization that’s providing a scalable and sustainable solution to global poverty. At the same time, I’ve met new people and made so many friends. After hearing about the San Francisco chapter’s Ambassador Training and Wine Tasting in Napa, Chicago’s Tunes for Tanzania, and New York’s A Toast to Tanzania with Opportunity Uganda’s Frida Mungoma, I decided that San Diego needed to relaunch its chapter so that we could have just as much fun as the nine other YAO chapter cities, while supporting Opportunity’s work providing life-changing services to people around the world.
As our re-launched chapter gets back up and running, myself and the rest of the YAO – San Diego leadership team are working hard to plan all sorts of fun events for later this fall–from happy hours, to guest speakers and more. Be sure to check out our chapter page and Facebook group for more details.
Through launching the chapter, I’ve frequently been asked, “Why did you join YAO?” and “Why do you support Opportunity International? What makes them so special?” I’ve decided to pick my top five reasons for each, which I’ll share over my next two blogs.
Top 5 Reasons Why I Joined YAO
1. Joining YAO has given me a chance to be part of something big. Really Big. Over 40% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day. I support Opportunity International because they provide services to over four million people working their way out of poverty in more than 20 countries around the world.
2. Through supporting YAO, I am investing in a model that recycles its donated funds over and over, helping more people get out of poverty for good. Knowing that my contribution will be used again and again is one of the greatest reasons I’ve decided to join YAO.
3. YAO provides an opportunity to connect with other young professionals both locally and across the country who are committed to ending global poverty through fun activities. Have you heard about YAO’s adventure weekend? The San Francisco chapter’s gala? The Denver chapter’s BBQ? While participating in all sorts of fun activities, I get to hear more from different experts about the developments and challenges facing the microfinance industry, and I also get to learn about Opportunity International’s work from international guest speakers and by participating in Trust Group simulations.
4. Joining YAO has broadened my perspective and provided me with a chance to further develop my professional skills. I’ve had a chance to hone my leadership and team-building skills, and have gained experience with event planning and more. Working with the other members of the leadership team of the San Diego chapter has been one particularly enriching experience since we all work in different industries and functions; the diversity of viewpoints and breadth of skills has been a valuable asset to our chapter as we have brainstormed the best ways to inspire, educate and involve our community.
5. YAO provides an opportunity to travel and see the world. The Insight Trips to Colombia, Tanzania, India and more provide Young Ambassadors a chance to witness firsthand the impact of Opportunity International’s work in developing countries. I’ve always loved to travel, and the fact that I can visit these countries and see the work Opportunity is doing is just an added benefit to supporting YAO.
This post was written by Mari Gottlieb, co-chair of YAO – San Diego.