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D.C. Nonprofit Leaders Receive Scholarships for McCourt School Program

July 12, 2016 – Eight nonprofit leaders in the Washington, D.C., region received Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund scholarships to attend a certificate program last month at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

The Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program offered by McCourt’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership is designed to strengthen the leadership and management capacity of individuals working in or with nonprofit organizations.

The scholarships were made possible by a $30,000 grant from the Crimsonbridge Foundation.


Scholarship recipient Kenneth Parker recently accepted a position to serve as executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Literacy Volunteers and Advocates.

The organization helps thousands of adults in the District to learn to read and write.

“I hope to build a strong working relationship with our board of directors, better market and build our programs, and better understand how fundraising works in an effort to sustain our work,” Parker says of completing the certificate program.

Community-Based Nonprofits

Patricia Funegra, founder and CEO of La Cocina VA, a job training and food assistance program, is another scholarship recipient who attended the Summer 2016 program, which took place June 11-18.

She says she started the program to generate workforce and small business development in the Hispanic community, providing training in the hospitality and food service industries.

La Cocina VA uses the food prepared to offer healthy meals to low-income families.

“It is clear that nonprofit CEOs and senior staff desire greater opportunities for professional development,” says Luisa Boyarski, assistant director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. “However, smaller community-based nonprofits often do not have flexibility in their budgets to fund their participation.”

Success Stories

One of La Concina VA’s first participants, Funegra says, was a 45-year-old woman named Gloria, originally from Peru, who had survived domestic abuse and was unemployed.

The woman now works full time as a cook at a high-end hotel.

“I am certain that we can scale stories of success like Gloria’s to the rest of the region,” Funegra says.

Rare opportunity

“As we seek to build social sector capacity, we believe it is important to increase access to top professional development opportunities and cultivate the talented and dedicated leadership at the heart of this work,” says Gabriela Smith, Crimsonbridge Foundation’s founder and president.

Kathy Kretman, director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, says she is “inspired and humbled by our first cohort of Crimsonbridge Scholars.”

“They are working in some of the most underserved communities in the D.C. area to provide adult literacy training, workforce training, wrap-around social service delivery to refugees and urban gardens,” she says. “I applaud the Crimsonbridge Foundation for providing this rare opportunity for local nonprofit leaders to step away from their organizations, to focus on both their individual growth and their organization's development.”