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JD's NPO Journey

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I stated my interests for my MAND 410 (Quantitative Analysis for Nonprofit Leaders) class on Blackboard as well. My primary interests at this time lie in civic engagement, with a particular interest in the elderly population.

First, please check out these links about the Okinawa Centenarian Study (the fact that Okinawa has the largest population of people aged 100+):

Some key points from these pages:
6. Low Prevalence of Dementia

Prevalence surveys suggest that the dementia rate is fairly low among the Okinawan elderly, compared to other elderly populations. Even into their late 90s Okinawans suffered lower dementia rates than reported for comparable populations in the United States and elsewhere.

10. Excellent Psychospiritual Health

Personality testing found that centenarians, when in their prime of life, scored low when it came to feelings of "time urgency" and "tension" and high in "self-confidence" and "unyieldingness." Interviews revealed optimistic attitudes, adaptability, and an easy-going approach to life. Moderation was found to be a key cultural value. Strong social integration and a deep spirituality were particularly evident among older women (Willcox DC, et al. Geriatr Med 2000;38:2000-9 [in Japanese]).

The key thought that really struck a chord with me in this study is the aspect of social integration. It would interest me to find out how much our (collective American) elderly population feels that they have a role in society after they retire from a job. It is speculation on my part that this isn't the case -- that our society prizes middle-aged people who would be taking care of their children and their parents. I see this as becoming a big problem for our society when all the current CEO's who are used to so much responsibility retire and find themselves suddenly "less important" in society.

My interest in the elderly and civic engagement lies in this area -- coming up with ways to give roles and a social identity back to the aging population. This is very broad, but I am eager to narrow it down.

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Now that the mood is set for my journal, here's the introductory post I put on the Blackboard site for my Intro to the Nonprofit Sector class. Hopefully it helps everyone else here gain some insight on the author of this blog. Without further ado:



I am in the part-time MNO program -- part time for two reasons: 1) because I have both a full-time and a part-time job, and 2) to give myself time to explore the nonprofit world. My full-time job is as Assistant Editor at PR Newswire, a wire service based out of the Penton Media Building downtown that distributes press releases from corporations and nonprofit organizations to the media. If you have a grammar or editing question, I'd love to help! My part-time job is as Minister of Music for Fellowship United Church of Christ in Wickliffe. In other words, I'm the pianist/organist and the choir director. If anyone is interested in singing in choir, working to expand a music curriculum, helping with reducing a deficit, expanding an already-successful food pantry or finding a relatively local place of worship, let me know!

My nonprofit experience is primarily as a volunteer. I love working with the elderly, particularly with those whose lives are affected by Alzheimer's disease. I also have a passion for music, especially relating to music therapy and (instrumental) music. My main time spent volunteering thus far, however, has been through Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service (as opposed to social) fraternity. I was the Vice President of Service for my chapter in college, where I planned various volunteer projects throughout the course of the school year. I'm currently training to teach leadership development courses through APO to other college students in the fraternity. I'm also Case's Chapter Representative for Section 59 staff, so if anyone would like to be involved with a group of college volunteers on Case's campus, that'd be another reason to come find me.

I'm in this program to find a niche area in the nonprofit sector where my passion for helping others to help themselves can make a genuine impact on others' lives. I'm also excited to meet everyone else whose lives have brought them here; I'm sure I have a lot to learn from each of you.


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In honor of being mindful of your community, I'd like to introduce my blog following my journey into the nonprofit sector with a few words from Richard Dreyfuss on civics:

Go -- listen -- now!

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Current Mood: resolute

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