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Ask Not What GPA Can Do for You, Ask What YOU Can Do for GPA!


Inspired! That is how I feel after attending the GPA National Conference in St. Louis. Inspired by the amazing workshops and the keynote speaker. Inspired by the networking opportunities with other grant professionals. 

 
Here is our second blog from a GPF Scholar In celebration of International Grant Professionals Day and Week. We share these as evidence of how meaningful and important the GPA is to our field. Will you be a GPF Scholar this year? GPA membership scholarship applications are open now!
 
Inspired! That is how I feel after attending the GPA National Conference in St. Louis. Inspired by the amazing workshops and the keynote speaker. Inspired by the networking opportunities with other grant professionals. Inspired by taking the time to meet with my organization's current vendor, Foundation Center during the conference to learn about new service offerings. Inspired by hearing a presentation by a prospective vendor, the Grants Office.  Inspired by the energy generated by more than 650 grant professionals striving to make a difference in the world.

From the moment I arrived at the GPA Conference, picked up my registration packet and my volunteer assignment packages from the delightful Barb Boggs, the GPA National Office and Volunteer Relations Manager; I felt the excitement in the air. I was enthusiastic to be surrounded by other grant professionals who understand what I do for a living and how exciting it feels to receive a large federal grant after investing countless hours on the application.
 
The opening session featured keynote speaker, Meredith Knopp, from The Mission Continues. Her journey as an officer in the United States Army Military Police Corps and her assignments in support of Operation Joint Endeavor was amazing. Through narrative and a video, Meredith explained how her organization empowers veterans who are adjusting to life after the military. She spoke about the importance of assisting veterans to find purpose in life through making an impact in their communities. What a great idea! I wanted to learn more from Meredith and to see how my organization might collaborate with her group in the future.
 
In the Special Interest Group (SIG) in Healthcare session, I was able to network with other grant professionals who represent hospitals, community health care centers, behavioral health centers, and clinics. We divided into small groups to discuss topics of interest. I shared my challenges, my ideas, and information about a recent SAMHSA victory worth $1.6 million. Our lively discussion continued over lunch, giving us extra time to network.
 
Hosting two conference sessions and volunteering during the Grant Professionals Foundation's Silent Auction provided me with a way to give back to GPA. These volunteer experiences also provided an avenue to meet speakers, vendors, and other grant professionals who I otherwise may not have met.
 
Because of this great experience, I challenge each of you to “Ask not what GPA can do for you; ask what YOU can do for GPA!” Is it starting a local chapter or taking on a leadership role in a local chapter? Is it becoming involved in a GPA National Committee, the Grant Professionals Foundation, or the Grant Professionals Certification Institute? Is it planning to be a volunteer at the 2016 Conference in Atlanta? Regardless of the option you choose, I challenge you to soar to new heights with GPA in the coming year!

 

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