alumni Spotlight

May Alumni Spotlight with Lakimja Mattocks, MPA ‘14

may19alumnispotlight

We speak with Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Learning at Support Center for Nonprofit Management, Lakimja Mattocks about her affinity for nonprofit work, her mission, and her Marxe MPA experience.

Why did you join Support Center as Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Learning?
While in my former role, I would attend educational related trainings and opportunities so that I could build the capacity of my Program Directors. Based on what I learned, I would take the information and turnkey it by creating shorter modules and share information digitally so that it could be better received. At the same time, I wasn't aware that there was a place and space for Leadership and Organizational Capacity building. After learning about Support Center, I became intrigued about how learning and development took place outside of program management. I joined the Support Center team to make a greater impact on the nonprofit sector-- partnering with leaders to be more efficient, effective and equipped to carry out their mission.

What initiatives are you currently working on at Support Center? What past projects have been the most influential in meeting your organizational goals?
I am really excited to be a part of a consortium of NYC capacity builders entitled Ahead of the Curve. As a collaborative we are working on a Racial Equity initiative that not only impacts our internal teams but will also impact the organizations we partner with. As a part of this work, I have an active role in how this moves forward at Support Center. Another initiative I am working on is the 3rd Annual Nonprofit Formation Fundamental Series in partnership with Candid (formerly Foundation Center) and New York Lawyers for Public Interest. The free Bootcamp for Nonprofit Startups is a five-part series that focuses on the legal process for forming a nonprofit charity, basic financial management, good governance and board development best practices, fundraising and communications.

Some of the past projects that have been most influential is the Coordination and Management of our annual Stronger Together symposium which brings together about 150 nonprofit partners and leaders funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development and the relaunch of our Emerging Leaders program--The Leadership Collaborative. The symposium focuses on strengthening the ability of nonprofit leaders to start, sustain or manage strategic partnerships while our The Leadership Collaborative engages emerging social sector leaders in a structured peer group to support, advise, and inspire their fellow leaders.

Can you tell us what steered you toward the nonprofit/public/organizational management track of the Marxe MPA?
I’ve worked in the nonprofit sector my entire career. There were aspects of the work I was being given that expanded my skills but I didn't have the formal education to build on. I wanted to effectively/successfully advance in my career as a change agent in the nonprofit sector and the MPA program at Marxe was the best fit and one of the best professional decisions I've made.

What was your experience like?
I really enjoyed my experience in the Marxe School as there were so many opportunities to learn, connect and grow as a leader no matter the track you were in. The professors were amazing and I truly believe I received a top notch education at a great bargain! I would share that we had the same access and quality of professors as schools like NYU and Columbia but paid 1/3 for our reputable degree.