As Nordic consultants, we share a common drive to help our customers deliver improved patient care through adoption of new technologies and processes. Beyond our work with customers, we also share a commitment to improving the communities where we work, live, and play. True to Nordic’s maxim, “Be You,” each of us may uniquely define how we impact our communities based on our own individual experiences, passions, and beliefs.
Prior to my career in healthcare technology, I taught high school math in a low-income school and observed the many challenges students may face in attaining an excellent education. For me, “Be You” has translated into supporting organizations promoting educational equity and thus enabling children to pursue their own vision of the American Dream. One such organization that I believe is helping to make the American Dream vividly alive for children in New York City is Behind the Book.
Behind the Book’s mission is to inspire New York City public school students to love reading by bringing accomplished authors and their books into classrooms and creating rich, innovative literacy programs. Since its inception in 2003, Behind the Book has impacted over 12,000 students through its programs. This year Behind the Book plans to donate 4,000 books and provide 68 programs to approximately 1,800 students.
At the end of last year’s programs, teachers working with Behind the Book reported
- 87 percent of their students showed increased reading engagement
- 85 percent of their students delivered higher quality written work
- 83 percent of their students improved their overall literacy
Inspired by Behind the Book’s mission and successful model, I joined the Young Executive Board of Behind the Book. As a Young Executive Board member, I help raise awareness and funding for the organization.
While it can definitely be challenging to prioritize commitments to social causes beyond your full-time job, it is possible, especially with a supportive organization like Nordic. Below are a few ways I've found time to support Behind the Book and other important causes as well:
As consultants, we travel Monday through Thursday, and we typically have Fridays off, which provides the flexibility to volunteer with daytime programs. Additionally, during a remote week, I've been able to work with my customer to either start my day extra early or work later hours to enable me to volunteer for a few hours during the morning or evening. Often times, I work to schedule volunteer commitments two to six weeks in advance to ensure that I can free myself up from work commitments for the allotted time that I’m volunteering.
Raising money for an organization may not require committing any time during normal business hours and thus may provide the most flexible option for supporting a social cause. For the past couple years, I have raised money from friends, family, and colleagues for various organizations by committing to run a race. Training for the race with colleagues can also be a great means for socializing the cause while onsite (Thanks to Kevin Dumser for the many evening runs up the Rocky steps in Philadelphia).
Getting your organization involved
After discussing Behind the Book with my Nordic Practice Director, Emma Scudder, she quickly introduced me to our marketing team to discuss potential partnership opportunities between Nordic and Behind the Book. From there, the two organizations worked together to plan Nordic’s first Community Giveback Week event in New York City this year! Additionally, Nordic has helped me raise additional money for Behind the Book by featuring in its internal newsletter a 5K that I’m currently fundraising for.