Overview of ACHEV – Part Four: Leadership
Overview of ACHEV continues!
Last month we pointed out: Every member has a role. Every role is vital. We covered the roles, which are:
board members, officers, coordinators, and participants (working and attending). Together, the Board of Directors and the Officers form the leadership team. This month, we explain the journey from participating to possibly joining the leadership team. Of course, it takes commitment to home education and the purpose of ACHEV plus some organization and leadership skills, but perhaps the easiest way to explain is to tell you my story.
How did I go from a new homeschool mom joining ACHEV for the first time in 1999, to joining the leadership team? It was a long process that I didn’t even realize was happening. At first I eagerly attended everything I could because I was new and wanted to get involved. A couple of years went by and I got busy and my participation slowed way down. I got disconnected. I almost didn’t renew. I actually asked myself, “Why am I in ACHEV if I dont participate?” The pivotal point was when I told myself I’d have to make a choice: either I drop out, or get more involved again. I decided to watch the newsletter for volunteer needs. I saw an area contact was needed for Ventura, but by the time I called, the job had been snatched up already. The next month, I saw ACHEV needed a new librarian. (That was back when we had bins of awesome resources we dragged to Skate Day every month!) I prayed, “Dear God, this is more than I wanted to commit to, but I’m trusting you – if the job is available when I call, I will take it.” It was, so I did. I was nervous, but it turned out to be so much fun! Yes, it involved a time and energy commitment, but my kids were happy because it meant we always went to Skate Day and I felt good about doing something helpful. What happened next surprised me very much. My new role put me, an introvert, out there to meet practically everyone at Skate Day! My kids and I made some very dear friends through answering that volunteer need.
The librarian role meant I got to put an occasional article in the newsletter, review a resource, or contact people for overdue resources…more interaction. Eventually, I noticed ACHEV needed a volunteer to coordinate the Curriculum Openhouse. I had benefited very much from attending those over the years, so when nobody else was able to do it, I volunteered. I needed a lot of help my first year, but I learned a lot and felt so blessed, I immediately volunteered for it again the next year.
Sometime later I remember discussing with some of the more experienced moms how I wished ACHEV had something more for P.E. One of the moms gently pointed out that I could start something, because that is how everything that ACHEV does got started. (Eye-opener to me: Oh, yeah! It’s a volunteer group filled with people creating opportunities for ourselves and each other. Good reminder.) So, I put a note in the newsletter for weekly kickball at Chumash Park for anyone interested. I bought a ball, bases, and a group of us met weekly for about a year. It was so fun! We did trash can basketball, too. There I was, initiating, leading and organizing and didn’t even realize it.
At some point, one of the officers asked if I would prayerfully consider joining the leadership team. I wish I could say I joyfully said, “Yes!”, but that’s not how it was. No way did I want to be fettered to a position of responsibility and not be able to extract myself. I have never felt like a leader! I did pray, then I asked billions of questions about exactly what the duties entailed. I was reminded that it is OK to say no because God provides in His time, but also that God equips those he calls. Lastly, and most importantly to me anyway, was that I would not be just thrust “out there”. It was a team. There was support. The group is loving and forgiving. (Praise God!) I did eventually say yes, obviously. I served as Vice President, then Activities Director for a long while. After a time, I left the Officer team because of extended family demands. That’s when I was asked if I would like to be on the board of directors, which offers support and counsel to the officers, rather than managing daily operations. That allowed me to stay involved with leadership and still devote my primary energy to family who needed me most during a very difficult time.
Please remember every role is vital. Leadership is just one of the roles. Participation through volunteering and attending are extremely critical. Lest you worry, don’t be afraid that if you volunteer for a few things that you will be pressured to do more. Also, remember not every leader needs to be a leader in every group. There are many ACHEV members who are leaders elsewhere, such as at church, in business, or other homeschool groups. ACHEV does not want to rob another group of its leadership, or burden anyone with extra leader roles. We simply trust God to place people where he needs them when he needs them.
Do you have questions about ACHEV? Send them to Susan Pineda at email@example.com.