On Purpose: Stories from the Lives of Oregon Nonprofit Leaders will resonate with you, whether you are an aspiring nonprofit leader or simply someone who is curious about those people who live among us, changing lives and making our communities better.The stories feature 34 Oregon nonprofit leaders, selected from over 80 people the author interviewed during a span of eight years. Interviewees discuss their origins, setbacks, discoveries, mentors, triumphs, and reflections on life and purpose. Many of the individuals featured have achieved notoriety, but others are virtually unknown outside of the communities and lives they have served. On Purpose shines a light on the people and events that often occur in the shadows of our communities, events we may not see, but that bring people together, bring about change, and transform lives…a middle school student who organized summer basketball leagues and later a program that lifted the lives of thousands of Portland African American youth; a young man who escaped a life of addiction and crime to lead a program that mentors former inmates as they return to the community; a woman who left a comfortable medical position to found a community health center for low-income and minority people who could not afford health care.Each story is unique and reflects the varied life experiences of the individual interviewed. At the same time there are common themes related to their sources of inspiration. These themes are the basis for the seven chapters which make up the book. The book begins with five individuals who were inspired to launch their nonprofit work by a life-changing event. It concludes with four individuals whose stories reflect a passion for setting aside convention and embracing new approaches to leadership.Each interviewee’s dedication to a cause does not come solely from academic knowledge, nor can it be created by carefully following best-practice recipes for leadership. Instead, it emerges through the impact of events and people along life’s journey. These become the building blocks that together create the foundation for success—a strong sense of purpose.
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