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Meet Alexandra Jobe of Opportunity4Kids in Phoenix Metro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra Jobe.

Alexandra, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2012, at the age of 25, I launched my entrepreneurial dream. My retail store! And it took off; things were going great. I would host Ladies Night Out events and one woman who attended an event stopped me at the end of the night and mentioned, “You are good at planning events! Any chance you have some time to plan events for a nonprofit? We are looking for a volunteer Event Director.”

I grew up from a place of service, volunteering in all aspects for St. Vincent de Paul, women’s domestic violence shelters and animal support organizations. Being asked to give back and use my event planning skills- this was a no brainer. I immediately said yes and was put in charge of executing the 1st Annual VIP Event for Opportunity4Kids in the fall of 2014. Things went amazingly and we raised $14,000 in one night! (With only about two weeks of planning time too.)

Behind the scenes, the Opportunity4Kids Board was reviewing my resume and voting to offer me the position of Director of Operations. Effective January 2015, I accepted! I continued to run my own business, plus a dance fitness studio. I know, a little crazy… but it worked for a moment and allowed me to volunteer my time with Opportunity4Kids. Fall of 2015, I decided it was time to focus my efforts and identified that my heart is with Opportunity4Kids.

I never dreamed of a career in Nonprofit, and never even realized such a thing existed. I believe in the cycle of abundance and giving back (time and money) was always part of my life, so it must be in everyone else’s as well?!

As things played out, I have found my calling. Pretty divine that the Greek meaning of my name (Alexandra) is the helper of mankind, as I truly know this is what I am destined to do. Fast forward to the present day- I am now the Executive Director of Opportunity4Kids and I love everything we do. We have positively impacted over 380 individual youth throughout the state of Arizona as well as executed community programs impacting thousands. I cannot wait to see what we can do in 2020!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
To start, the first year as Director of Operations I worked full time with Opportunity4Kids and refused to be paid a cent. I jumped into this nonprofit with an entrepreneurial mindset that budgeting is key to growing a company and that especially in the nonprofit industry, management must be compensated proportionate to donation/revenue levels. Therefore, I maintained another management job at all times to offset my income. I am now being paid and have finally scaled back my “multi-tasking”.

Working full time is also a statement that needs clarification. Full time means 40+ hours. To this date, I frequently have to be available or physically present weekends and nights based on programming and fundraising schedule. I essentially have a mobile office. I plan my week based on who I have to meet where. Since Opportunity4Kids covers the whole state of Arizona and focuses on Maricopa County, I may have to meet with donors and programming sites from Maryvale to Scottsdale to San Tan Valley.

Switching from the for profit to the nonprofit industry was also quite the change! There came a lot of new rules, regulations and expectations plus challenges in learning how to navigate fundraising and donor management. I quickly threw myself into learning opportunities with workshops and webinars to get up to speed!

Tell us more about the organization.
Opportunity4Kids is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and Arizona Qualified Charitable Organization, that assists underprivileged youth with out-of-school time opportunities. We do so by providing financial scholarships, equipment, uniforms- whatever the child needs to participate in the activity of their choice. Our mission is to level the playing field and give Arizona youth in need the opportunities they deserve!

Opportunity4Kids was founded by locals Kevin and Jeff Van Norman, and we just celebrated our 6th Anniversary. We are proud to share that to date we have provided 385 Individual Scholarships (and counting) plus community programs impacting thousands of deserving youth throughout the state of Arizona!

The opportunities that we provide to Youth not only give them the chance to get involved with peers through something they enjoy but also provide the resource to develop very important skills such as communication, responsibility, time management and self-esteem. What may seem like the opportunity to play a sport, join a club or attend summer camp becomes a life-changing, influential moment to Youth in need and at risk.

Not only is Opportunity4Kids a federally recognized nonprofit, but we are also a Qualified Charitable Organization in the state of Arizona. This means Opportunity4Kids provides more than just a federal tax deduction to its donors. Single filers can donate $400 and joint filers $800 and get that dollar-for-dollar back on their taxes! It doesn’t cost a cent for taxpayers to make a difference for children in need. Talk about win, win!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I definitely believe in luck in the sense of being in the right place at the right time… that sometimes things just line up! I would never have guessed back in 2012 that I would be where I am today, and I sure am blessed that things worked out the way they did.

However, I have worked hard, rose above setbacks and obstacles and always believed I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. So, yes, luck did play a role in my journey but never giving up on the philosophy that I can make a change in the world is what perpetuated the outcome luck provided.

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