Learning from Dad

June 20, 2019

Even though they share the moniker, no two dads are exactly alike. Which makes it no surprise that each father and/or influential male in our lives has a little something different to instill upon us. Here are a few words of wisdom from our own papas that the members of the CNE family hold dear:

Alan Robinson (Andrew Robinson, Program Manager)

My dad worked in public elementary schools for 30 years. His love was always for the students and in particular for “Al’s Kids,” the special needs students that he worked closely with at a small, rural school. Toward the end of his career, he took a position as a principal in the city because it seemed like the logical next step. But, now fully removed from the classroom, he stopped enjoying his work and soon took an early retirement package. Years later, when he told me I shouldn’t let other people’s ideas of success guide my decisions, I knew he was speaking from experience.

Troy Coppage (Ian Coppage, Administrative Coordinator)

“Hard work always pays off,” is something that my dad has told me since I was young. Watching him run our family furniture company over the years and start a second small business has taught me that if I give any task my all, I can be successful.

Jose Carlos Villegas Ayub (José Villegas, Intern)

I remember when he used to take me and my sister to school, he would always tell us “be good.” He would say it in English for some reason, even though our native language is Spanish. His voice, saying those words, comes to my mind very often when I’m about to enter a meeting, go to an interview, or simply engage with someone I just met, and it helps me go out of my comfort zone (I consider myself an introvert) and engage with people, which is essential to do community work through the nonprofit sector.

Felix Carey (Aleen Carey, Senior Manager of Philanthropy and Communications)

Making mistakes can be such a scary part of life, but my dad has shown me that an error isn’t always the end. In nonprofit work, we don’t always get it right on the first attempt. We have to ask a lot of questions, put egos aside, and commit to do our very best. And we still get it wrong sometimes. But that’s when an apology can go a long way toward rebuilding trust and recommitting to a result that benefits the community.

Whether you celebrated this Father’s Day with your dad, reflected on a particular memory, or recognized the day in your own special way—CNE wishes all dads and male role models and those who love them the very best.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2019

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