Levé has been making an impact in the Portland community for more than 11 years now. After a decade of nonprofit partnerships, we wanted to take a moment and share what Levé has done for our own members. In this series you’ll hear from our hardworking board members, past and present, and learn how Levé has impacted them. Below is our first of the series, written by Levé President Kate Baldwin.
My journey with Levé began shortly after graduating from college. In 2012, with a B.A. in Sociology, I found myself in Portland working as an AmeriCorps member for a local nonprofit. My college sweetheart (now Husband) is originally from Portland and seemed to know everyone in the city. However, it was important to me that I find my own niche in what was then, my new home. Furthermore, I had all sights set on creating a professional path and contributing to my community while doing so.
It wasn't long before I began hearing the ever so popular term "networking" again and again, and finally decided to check out first hand what this elusive word meant. Through a friend of a friend (that's networking for ya!) I had the opportunity to meet with a founder of Levé, Maddie Andrews. As I look back on it now, what started as an innocent coffee date to help build career momentum quickly became a monumental afternoon. I left feeling inspired to put down roots in this wonderful city of ours, to hone in on professional skills, and to assist in elevating the Portland nonprofit realm. Coincidentally, I later learned that Levé would be the perfect avenue in which to achieve all three of these goals!
Nearly four years later, I now serve as President of Levé, while previously holding the role of Vice President and Development Chair. To pair perfectly with my life as a Levé member, I am a Program Coordinator for "I Have A Dream" Oregon, an educational nonprofit empowering students from low-income communities to thrive in school, college, and career. Additionally, I am a part of Social Venture Partners Rising Leaders Program, a group of local young professionals preparing to solve social sector problems through venture philanthropy.
I owe many of my professional achievements to the skills I have developed through Levé. I now have a stronger connection to the nonprofit community in Portland, and thus a keen understanding of the issues facing our city. Additionally, the career driven Levé women who have come before me have added to my life in immeasurable ways. I am excited by the opportunity to pay it forward by continuing to engage the younger demographic while working to change the face of philanthropy alongside the friends I have made within Levé.