From the time I was a young girl, I had a heightened awareness of injustice in the world and I was always rooting for the underdog. It came as no surprise then when after graduating from college, instead of following my plan to attend law school and become a judge, I stepped into work in the nonprofit world. Now, over 30 years later, I wouldn’t have done it any differently. While working for nonprofits is certainly not as financially rewarding as working as a lawyer, the rewards I have received in seeing lives saved and changed has been of far greater value to me.
My career has been a wonderful, humbling adventure. I have been blessed to work with many nonprofits who help feed the hungry, save babies, mentor young people, find people jobs, house the homeless, educate low-income preschool children, teach immigrants and refugees English and lead them to become citizens, enable low-income people to purchase their first home, serve special needs children and adults, provide people with critical housing repairs, help people rebuild from disasters, assist pregnant teens, help single mothers rebuild their lives, help foster children and much more. I have served within nonprofits as an Executive Director, Director of Development, Program Manager, Grant Manager, and Board Member and I have helped raise millions of dollars for nonprofits through my grant writing skills. I have been privileged to develop relationships with people in need that led me to places like standing beside the bed of a young person I had taught after he had been burned over 90% of his body or helping a teen mother deliver her baby. What an honor, privilege and adventure all of this has been!
When I moved to Tampa, I decided to start my own consulting company to continue my charitable work. Now, 14 years later, my idea to start a business to help nonprofits has grown into a successful far-reaching endeavor. My company, Pathways to Growth, has raised millions of dollars for charities and helped many clients develop the business side of their nonprofit, build stronger leaders and boards, and move their organizations to higher levels of success. I am thrilled to have been of service to every client with whom we have worked. I am also honored to be leading our company’s highly-qualified group of writers and consultants. They are all compassionate and dedicated to producing excellent results for our clients.
One of my favorite quotes from leadership guru John Maxwell is “a person must empty himself into others to discover a fuller self, he must lose himself to find himself. Forget yourself into greatness. Empty yourself into adventure.” I do not consider myself great by any means, but my prayer is that everyday I will think less of myself and more of others. I believe a career devoted to charity and giving back is what I was born to do. And, most importantly, I pray that my work will have significance not only here on earth, but in eternity!
Jule Colvin, Everyday Philanthropist and Founder, Pathways To Growth, Tampa, Florida