MA in Nonprofit Management Student and Alumni Stories
Abby Johnson - "Why Choose UHD??
"Working full-time as a nanny and part-time as an office assistant for a local Austin nonprofit, I needed a program that met my needs. I needed convenience, where I could complete coursework on my time, without having to commute to a university. I needed affordability, as I could not afford to add to the amount of student loans I acquired during my undergraduate years. Most importantly, I needed a specialized program that could allow me to develop specialized skills for my future in the nonprofit sector.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Master of Art in Nonprofit Management program has been the best decision for me, as well as the most rewarding. I get to learn from nonprofit CEOs as my professors, complete complex projects relevant to the field, and acquire new skill sets all transferable to real-life nonprofit processes. " --Abbey Johnson, First Year candidate in the MANPM program. #IchooseUHD
Shareca Vallaire’s Story
As a student of UHD Master’s of Nonprofit Management Program, Shareca Vallaire, keeps herself busy working with youth and supporting their dreams of becoming young entrepreneurs. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Shareca and her two children; Brooke Vallaire and Brice Everhart, wanted to serve their community upon returning to Houston, after evacuating during Hurricane Harvey. Within 24 hours of learning they could safely return home, the Vallaire-Everhart team began putting their plans into action. After making several phone calls to youth entrepreneurs and inviting them to join their relief initiative, the Texas Youth Empowerment Campaign was born. On September 4, 2017, Shareca was excited to see everyone present at her home and ready to put their “Labor of Love” into action. The youth entrepreneurs assembled to prepare 300 hot meals, 200 for residents of the Houston Housing Authority and another 100 meals to serve the residents of Champion Forest. Shareca and the young entrepreneurs were eager to serve, lead, and empower their community. “I applaud the efforts of our youth entrepreneur community, they volunteered their time and energy to make this endeavor a huge success,” says Shareca. The Texas Youth Empowerment Campaign, is an initiative of the Youth Education and Entrepreneur Center, where young entrepreneurs learn how to run and manage a business.
Susannah Mikulin’s Story
After partnering with the city of La Grange almost one year ago, Susannah Mikulin, founder of Fayette County Community Theatre, has taken their slogan, "Building Community Through Play" very serious. After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Fayette County, the teachers of LGISD graciously took care of local students so parents could volunteer or start the process of getting back to normalcy. So Fayette County Community Theatre came to help entertain and do what they do best- Play! The local drama club and FCCT spent the day making puppets, having a Harry Potter themed party, and singing songs. Laughter is the best medicine and the students definitely got a big dose that day! In addition, they are hosting a benefit on November 2nd to raise money for a local charity rebuild! VIP guests are invited to watch the final dress rehearsal of their next production, Steel Magnolias, and hang out with cast and crew. Proceeds of this event are being matched by a local bank and given to Second Chance Emporium, a business that has directly helped FCCT in the past. “Building Community Through Play” is not just FCCT’s slogan, but what drives Susannah and members of her nonprofit to create art that all of Fayette County can be proud of every day!
Afshan Malik’s Story
Afshan Malik worked with The Sisters Committee of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston during Hurricane Harvey, enabling Houston area mosques, to act as shelters. Afshan and other volunteers made sure each mosque-turned-emergency shelter, was equipped with necessary supplies - including bedding, food, formula, dog food, clothes, and more. Afshan, personally utilized a volunteer database of over 500 people in the greater Houston area, to help coordinate efforts of home restoration, supply distribution, collecting materials for donation that would go to churches and schools, and food distribution. The group also created a demonstration home, in a heavily flooded neighborhood, to assist local volunteers in learning how to handle equipment, tear down drywall, remove flooring, and take safety precautions. Afterwards, volunteers assisted elderly and disabled citizens in dire need. Afshan helped in the planning of two additional demo houses in other parts of Houston. Her skills in graphic design, social media management, and program coordination, ensured that Houston residents who needed a helping hand were able to turn to the Sisters Committee or affiliates, via informational fliers or social media outreach, to help them get back on their feet during a very difficult time.