There are many reasons NOT to start a new organization. There are already a lot of non-profits. It is difficult to raise money. The risk of failure is high (anywhere between 50-80% of new businesses fail within the first 18 months). The shininess of the new soon fades away (as the nearly 90% of people who fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions will soon be able to attest).
Yet there was one reason that I kept coming back to about why I SHOULD launch On the Road Collaborative, a new 501c3 youth empowerment organization, and it is summed up well in the following quote:
“Your life should be about finding the intersection of the world’s greatest need and your greatest passion.” ~Gary White, Co-Founder, Water.org
Whether you are talking about the 6,000 hour learning gap that low-income children experience by the age of 12 or that 70% of children in the Harrisonburg City Schools are coming from a low-income background there is tremendous need for more time for academic practice, more connection to a network of caring adult mentors and more access to college and career learning experiences beyond the school day hours for hundreds of children in the Harrisonburg community, especially in the middle grades. The traditional school day is no longer enough to fully meet the needs of all our children.
Our passion at On the Road Collaborative is about ’empowering young people with opportunity’ and doing our part to bring our community together to share our collective strengths and play an active role in preparing the next generation. In preparing to launch On the Road, we realized that our passion and purpose was less about a particular after school program, and more about working with those throughout all corners of our community to ensure that every child has a champion, is on the road to college and career and is able to fulfill their unlimited promise.
So while there were many reasons not to launch On the Road Collaborative, at the end of the day, we needed just one reason to do it: it is our intersection. Where’s yours?