Aspen Baker Awarded Gerbode Fellowship
My name is Jocelyn Yin and I am Exhale’s newly elected board president. I am delighted for the opportunity to announce that our Executive Director, Aspen Baker, was recently honored as one of five individuals who received the 2012 Gerbode Professional Development Fellowship.
Back row: Gabriel Metcalf, SF Planning and Urban Research Association; Amy Tobin, David Bower Center; Aspen Baker, Exhale
Front row: Jody Lewen, Prison University Project, Inc.; Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Fund
Aspen didn’t apply for this fellowship - she was selected as a nonprofit leader with a track record of producing results and a dedication to excellence. Past recipients of the award include such nonprofit luminaries as Van Jones, Rinku Sen, Barbara Brenner, Kim Klein and Oscar-winning filmmaker Debra Chasnoff.
I first met Aspen in 2006 when I became a talkline volunteer. My two years on the talkline created one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences of my life because of Exhale’s wonderful community and our fascinating, unusual, and powerful work. I left to attend Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and I now work for the federal government in Washington DC. I’m thrilled to be back volunteering at Exhale, serving the organization as a board member.
Exhale has come a long way over the last decade and a large part of this is due to Aspen's leadership. I admire her passion and willingness to test new ideas that challenge - and ultimately change - the way that we support and discuss people's experiences with abortion. She’s dedicated herself to building a resilient, strength-based organization that encourages shared leadership. My path from a volunteer counselor to board president is a testament to how Exhale practices its mission.
I am grateful for leaders like Aspen who have dedicated their lives and careers to make the world a better place. I’d also like to congratulate the other four receipts of this year’s Fellowship: Vanessa Daniel, Jody Lewen, Gabriel Metcalf and Amy Tobin; and express appreciation, on behalf of the entire Board of Directors, to the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley who administers the award. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity.
As we celebrate Exhale’s 10th Anniversary, I’m so pleased that our founder and executive director is being recognized for her leadership. Please join me in congratulating Aspen Baker, a 2012 Gerbode Fellow!
Jocelyn Yin is Exhale's Board President and a former volunteer counselor.
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