The following is a contributed article about nonprofit excellence from Tomeka Magagula, our organizational learning manager.
“Very good of its kind” and “eminently good” are just two definitions of the word excellence. There are several more; however, these two definitions resonate with me because these are the values that my parents continue to impart upon me and demonstrate themselves everyday.
The value of excellence pushed me to work hard to excel academically, earn a four-year scholarship to a university, and then work a full and part-time job while putting myself through graduate school. It was difficult, but I never deviated from my path because excellence was all I knew….all I had been taught…and all that I expected of myself.
When I came to Volunteers of America Chesapeake in September 2002, I was immediately struck by the core values we had at the time – Caring, Trust, Quality, Faith and Respect. I quickly realized that these were not just words on a wall. I was blessed to work with people every day who truly embodied these values and it clearly showed in our greatest asset – the individuals we serve.
I was motivated by our agency’s achievements in the community and encouraged by my supervisors and colleagues to take on new roles within the organization. When I became the clinical quality assurance director of the Maryland Behavioral Health programs, I knew it had excellence written all over it and I couldn’t wait to begin! The position was to ensure the programs became more clinically sound with improved quality assurance controls. I enjoyed that position immensely for three years and the experience I gained has been immeasurable.
In my new position as organizational learning manager, I am thrilled to help our programs continue to demonstrate excellence in everything that we do. By “exceeding promises to our stakeholders with agility, expertise, and innovative solutions,” I feel that I am a part of a team, our VOAC family, that is dedicated to helping others bring out only the best they have to offer.
In closing, I think 2 Peter 1:5 says it best: “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge.”
What a blessing it is to be able to work for a company who’s core values mirror your very own.
–Tomeka B. Magagula, M.Ed., NCC, LCPC, Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Organizational Learning Manager
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