Gifford Board Member Maithreyee Dubé On Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Published June 2024

         The Gifford Foundation’s Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders (NTL) program is a transformative nine-week course designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to become effective nonprofit board members. This initiative aims to increase diversity on nonprofit boards and expand the pool of qualified community leaders.

Maithreyee Dubé, Manager of Enrollment Services at the D’Aniello Institute of Veterans and Military Families, is a valued Gifford Foundation board member and a graduate of the NTL program. Like the four other Gifford board members who have completed the program, it left a lasting impression. She spoke with us about the experience and what she hopes future participants will gain from it.

Maithreyee Dube is a graduate of Gifford's Nourishing Tomorrow's Leaders program.

Gifford Board Member, Maithreyee Dubé, Manager of Enrollment Services at the D’Aniello Institute of Veterans and Military Families

Who Should Pursue the NTL Program?

Maithreyee Dubé: Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders is ideal for individuals who are passionate about serving their community in a leadership role. This program is not just for those who enjoy volunteering at events; it’s for people who want to dedicate their time and talent to leadership within the community. It’s also not just for people who are at an established point in their career. It can benefit people across generations, from young people just out of high school to college students and beyond. The critical factor is the willingness to learn about community leadership, advisory board service, and how you can align your passions and talents with the right organization to make an impact in your community.

A graduating class of NTL stands smiling and holding their diplomas on a stairwell. The group is roughly twenty people, featuring a diverse representation of people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds.

A group of Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders graduates. 

What are some common misconceptions about NTL?

Maithreyee Dubé: Participants in the NTL program gain more than just the credentials to serve on a board. They receive comprehensive guidelines on how to create a significant impact within their community. Also, I think one thing NTL teaches you is that you don’t necessarily need to be passionate about a cause before joining a board. The program emphasizes the importance of understanding how one can best serve an organization. I think looking at it from the perspective of what you can contribute can lead to discovering new passions and areas of interest.

How do you feel it added to your personal growth and community leadership skills?

Maithreyee Dubé: Being part of a generationally and culturally diverse group of individuals with a collective passion for community service was really inspiring. It allowed us all to see the community through different perspectives and sparked many “aha” moments for me and my peers.

I gained a deeper understanding of my own commitments and the importance of carefully considering what I dedicate my time to. I had to really think about if I had sufficient time and energy for all the roles I was trying to fulfill. It led me to step back and reassess my engagement levels to ensure I could contribute effectively to the organizations I was involved with.

How did NTL help you build connections?

Maithreyee Dubé: One of the highlights of NTL for me was the opportunity to connect with community leaders and speakers. I remember Sean Branagan from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications delivered a particularly impactful presentation on networking and marketing. Because I was able to connect and chat with him at that session, we developed a friendship and have sent many helpful connections each other’s way since.

The Gifford Foundation actively supports NTL graduates by presenting them to organizations seeking new board members. I’ve actually successfully recruited four individuals from the pool of NTL graduates for other organizations which highlights the program’s effectiveness in developing strong and diverse community leaders.

The application process to select the next cohort of participants for Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders will open on July 8, 2024. If you are interested in participating, head to the link below for more information on how to apply.

Special thanks to Maithreyee Dubé for her contributions to this article and as a Gifford Foundation board member.

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