The Grand Slam, No Trumps

“Graduates, If you have an analytical mind, an aptitude for solving thorny problems and highly developed reasoning powers you could be a very good Bridge Player …, we need people who can analyze complex circumstances…we are looking for a Grand Slam, no Trumps (New Scientist, January 29, 1987 Published by Reed Business Information).

In answering this advertisement Serena Williams, World number one tennis player – winner of all four Grand Slam tournaments, the most prestigious event in Tennis calendar would say something to the effect: “You have to accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives, be confident about who you are and what you want to achieve, be willing to stand alone (except for your coach), step up and clock the ball, keeping one step ahead of your opponent at all times.”

The road to becoming a Fellow in the Inclusion and Philanthropy program was no easy feat. Being able to complete the academic part of the program was quite doable as information flowed left right and centre, however, achieving the tangibles (actual outcomes) required the guidance of a mentor to develop the professional muscles needed to succeed.

Through the mentoring aspect of the AFP’s Fellowship program, I started out timidly trying not to ask too many questions or to take up too much of my mentor’s time. She soon put me at ease by having a good understanding of my goals and objectives. She answered questions, gave pointers, made suggestions on developing strengths and overcoming weaknesses, and lead me to greater networking. All this support solidified my goal to be an all round top achiever with an aptitude for solving thorny problems and developing acute reasoning powers and being able to solve complex problems.

It is with pride that my charity and I were able to complete the following:

  • A very detailed inclusive and diversity policy on Benevolent Giving
  • Access Government funding from Service Canada to operate a Summer Day
  • Camp, employing five (5) students
  • Access Government funding from Service Canada to operate a community program for seniors (Seniors Helping Seniors) for a year.

On June 9, 2016 receiving the prestigious Fellowship Certificate is indeed winning the Grand Slam, no trumps… reminding the world “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” C.S. Lewis. For me, I can certainly tick with confidence:

  • Grant and proposal writing – have that down pat
  • Strategic planning – inclusivity and diversity makes great planning
  • Management and accountability – It takes team work
  • Budgeting – includes time, resources, a goal and guts

Thanks to the AFP Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy program.