I sat down with McGeorge alum Aaron Brieno (’14) to talk about his new non-profit community based organization, Inspire California. Inspire California, to put it briefly, exists to help create and foster and college-ready and college going among high school aged students in the Central Valley, and in particular, the area of the Central Valley that Aaron is from, Hanford.
The quick background as to why Aaron decided to start this organization is that he read in his local newspaper one day in 2014, that the Central Valley had made a list of the top ten least educated regions in the country. Given all the different that California is a leader in, it was stunning to learn that any region in California would make that list.
So he decided to do something about it. At first, he thought it was a task he could tackle on his own. Aaron soon realized this would be an endeavor that would require more resources than he alone could muster.
You’ll need to listen to the podcast for most of the details on what resources you need and how to use them to get from idea to an established and operating organization. But the short answer for those looking for the short answer on resources, Aaron’s go to’s were: Nolo’s How to Start a Non-Profit in California, Google, the California Secretary of State’s website, and the California Association of Nonprofits’ website.
So, how does Inspire California achieve its mission? Thanks to a lot of legwork on Aaron’s part, Inspire California connects high school students in the Central Valley with college educated young professionals who are from the Central Valley. Those young professionals serve as mentors to these students, covering all the bases from taking phone calls to talk to proofreading college essays and personal statements.
There’s a lot more than Aaron and I cover in our conversation, and I hope you take the time to give it a listen and enjoy.