Future Leaders of America               


Making Headlines to Benefit the Future Leaders Movement

Growing Future Leaders through a “Pitch”

It was the night of October 15th, 2016 and I was ready to take the stage and present the 300+ audience members my organization through my three minute pitch. The energy was exhilarating and I could feel my body tense. As I walked onto the stage, I felt comfortable. I started my pitch…it was going well, I kept telling myself. Then it happened. I froze midway through my pitch and tried to salvage as much I could. I left the stage and felt like I could have done better. It was a real learning experience, but since, I’ve made efforts to showcase Future Leaders through my pitch.

Although we didn’t receive a top cash prize, I left Fast Pitch with confidence, energy and motivation to grow my organization. I’ve had the opportunity to use my pitch in different events and with different funders. I was eager to use the pitch as I saw the impact that it had on people. I decided to use it during our annual house party gathering at our board chair’s home. We invited about 35 individuals who we felt could donate if we made the right ask. By the end of our hour long program, we had collect over $6,000 in donations. The pitch was crucial as it connected our newfound donors to the organization through our story.

I also started to use my pitch with funders. Funders felt compelled to donate but more importantly, felt the power of our story as an organization. Since December 2015, we have been able to attract new funders. Our new funding has allowed us to increase our staff capacity. We are proud that in 2016, Future Leaders has 3 Full Time staff --- something that we have not been able to accomplish since 2011!

I have also built fond relationships with Fast Pitch coaches and volunteers. Thanks to Fast Pitch, I was introduced to Ernesto Paredes, Victoria Juarez and Heather Childdress. Not only did they cheer me onto the Fast Pitch stage but they’ve also opened their doors and mentored me along the way. I have met with them outside the Fast Pitch space and they have provided guidance through their lenses as leaders in their organizations.

Lastly, through my participation in Fast Pitch, I have also learned how to take ownership for my own story and work. Growing up undocumented in Santa Barbara was hard for me and it was hard for me to “own” my identity especially in Santa Barbara. My coaches, Heather and Pei, encouraged me to tie my personal story to that of my organization. As a participant of Future Leaders, I was able to see how my own story could empower others. Through this process I was able to take ownership of my story and grow my own confidence along the way. That confidence also transcended into my work space and other professional spaces.

NEWSWIRE March 2014

NEWSWIRE November 2013

FLA Appears in Latest Edition of DivaTU Magazine

Check out the editorial piece by fellow FLA board member, Pedro Chavez in the latest issue of DivatuMagazine out NOW!

"Future Leaders embraces its rich and longstanding history by renewing its commitment to helping youth achieve their full potential in school, their career choices, and in life."

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