Law degree opens door to college job
Candy Kneip has a job with more duties than most.
When asked what the job of resource development director of the Wesley Community Center entails, the Museum District resident rattles off a seemingly endless list of responsibilities: speaking and education, special events, raising money for programs, marketing, volunteer and community involvement and grant proposals, among others. “What I do is effectively raise money and resources for the agency,” said Kneip.
“It (resource development) means a lot of different things in the nonprofit world.” Kneip, who grew up in Mississippi, became interested in a career in the nonprofit sector after working in Washington, D.C. “It kinda opened my eyes to … what that meant,” said Kneip.
Kneip earned a degree in law and previously worked for a social service agency. At Wesley Community in the Northside Village community, her job means raising awareness and funding for one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in Houston.
Founded 108 years ago by the former First Methodist Church, the organization was established to help the families of deceased railroad workers, many of whom died due to lack of basic safety regulations. It's still part of Wesley's mission, which encompasses programs for all ages from toddlers to senior citizens.
Included are early childhood education, a program targeted to middle school students, and a five-day-a-week program attended by between 60 to 75 older people from the neighborhood. “For a lot of seniors, this is their social network and keeps them going,” Kneip said.
But Kneip is most proud of the Financial Opportunity Center, a two-year-old pilot program with three components: income support, financial coaching and job coaching and placement.
It has been so successful a fourth component – educational coaching – will be added this summer in conjunction with Houston Community College. Although Wesley Community Center is over a century old, it continues to grow. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Jan. 14, when the Kurtz Education and Recreation Center opened its doors.
“With over 250 guests in attendance, the building that has been in the works for over five years, became a reality,” said Kneip in a prepared release.
Community Connection: Resource development director at the Wesley Community Center.
Fast Fact: To de-stress, Kneip takes lessons in ballet at the Houston Met and walks her basset hound, Wally.
Ann C. Fisher is a freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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