Thursday, September 8, 2011

Highlight: Classy Awards Nominee for Young Nonprofit Leader of the Year, Amy Harmon

Raised in a struggling low-income family, Amy blossomed as a woman sweetly fierce about her calling to make higher education accessible to all. Amy has over 11 years of service and commitment in nonprofit management and fundraising, from Executive Director of an organization empowering young woman (which she appeared on Oprah for) to recently becoming the San Diego State University College of Education’s Director of Development.

Where does vision and commitment to a cause come from? Amy’s story is rare and one of transcendence and persistence. In modern society it is one thing to grow up urban poor and it is another to grow up rural poor, with very litle access to resources/services, dilapidated and unfunded schools, and no community supports for miles. Amy grew up in rural Kentucky, with her three older brothers and parents, in a place where school success could have easily taken a back seat to the growl of a hungry stomach and the struggles of home life. Not to mention, without the simple luxury of indoor plumbing, mid-night treks to the outhouse do not lend to a good nights sleep, particularly in the winter. Many times it is through difficulty and trial the most beautiful things form. Amy’s spirit and humble altruism is a testament to that proverb. Thanks to the help of a high school guidance counselor, Amy discovered Berea College; a small private liberal arts college where bright low-income students attend tuition-free. It was there that she discovered her passion for the power of education to change lives.

Only in her early 30s, Amy has raised millions of dollars for numerous worthy causes, none dearer to her heart than giving those less privileged a shot at higher education. For Amy, these stories are personal and will tell you of the impact a college education had on her life. To her and those she fundraises to support, college is more than classes that lead to a job, but a saving grace, a pathway out of poverty and a shot at destiny. Amy is a living testimony of her work, work that is breaking generational cycles of poverty and bringing hope to society’s forgotten youth.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be reviewed and posted based on approval. We encourage comments of all kinds including constructive criticism and debate. Please contact for any questions.