LaNisha began her nonprofit professional career in 1999, when she fell in love with youth development and urban education. Over the past 15 years, she has served as a volunteer coordinator, event planner, youth center director, education coordinator, site coordinator and fundraiser with various youth-serving agencies.
Her journey led her back to Indianapolis in 2012, where she has served various fund-development roles. She recently joined the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity team as the associate director of annual & planned giving. Her passion for the greater Indianapolis community and eagerness to fight poverty housing, made Habitat for Humanity a natural fit.
LaNisha lives in west Indianapolis (Pike Township) with her husband and 3-year-old son. When she is not in the office, you will see her volunteering as a mentor, cheering on her husband’s football/track team, spending time with the family or traveling.
1. What is your name?
2. How long have you lived in Indy?
I was raised in Indianapolis, however I moved to the south to complete both my bachelor’s (Clark Atlanta University) and master’s (Tennessee State University) degrees. I have been back in Indianapolis for almost 2-and-a-half years now.
3. Why have you focused your career on the nonprofit sector?
My goals were set on working in corporate America while completing my undergraduate degree. During my junior year of college I met a nonprofit executive who became my mentor and introduced me to the world of nonprofits. I really enjoyed how self-rewarding the work was, and how you could see the impact ripple through the community. My part-time, seasonal position at a community center turned into my full-time profession. I have enjoyed every minute since!
4. What would you say to another young professional considering a nonprofit job?
I tell individuals all the time that you HAVE to be passionate about your work. Your commitment to the cause will reflect in your work. My suggestion would be to volunteer at an organization of interest first. If after a period of time you can see yourself doing the work full-time, with limited resources, then maybe you are on the right path.
5. If you could learn a brand new skill, what would it be?
I would love to be fluent in several languages. I admire that skill in other professionals. I feel like I could connect with my work on another level. Otherwise, I would love to learn to scuba dive!
6. If you were an inanimate object, which would you be and why?
I think it would be interesting to be a fabulous purse/clutch for an influential woman for a day. I would like to see a typical day in the life of Michelle Obama, Oprah or Kerry Washington. These women are creating positive change in both their professional and personal lives, and I would love to have a front -ow seat.
7. What do you hope to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
I would like to go back to school and get another degree. I have thought about maybe law school or even another master’s degree. I really enjoy being in a learning environment and obtaining new skills. We will see what the future brings.
Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity will host its second annual Women Build in 2015 for a deserving family in need with the support of women leaders and volunteers. Women from all walks of life will work together to raise funds and raise the walls for the entire Women Build house. Habitat for Humanity will rely on more than 300 volunteers to construct the home and recruit friends and family to support their work. Please consider joining them!
See more at: www.indyhabitat.org/women-build