Innovation Grants: A Unique Opportunity to Empower J Leaders Alumni
By Peter Weltman, 2022-23 J Leaders Academy Fellow
An influential program’s hallmark is how it affects participants’ lives — not only during, but long after the experience concludes. While our J Leaders’ Academy’s now come to a close, the next phase relies on each of us to institute the program’s values into everything we do moving forward. The good news is, none of us are alone! We not only have each other, but also new concepts with which to encourage our development. Additionally, there’s even more afoot to support everyone on their future quests. That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce the J Leaders Innovation Grant initiative, which is kicking off with a Mini Grant Program. This program supports J Leaders alumni to further develop leadership skills, as well as make a lasting impact on their communities.
The Mini Grant Program is a unique opportunity for alumni to receive financial support for projects that align with J Leader’s values and objectives. Each alumnus can use up to $250 in funding per annum to launch innovative ideas, pursue professional development, and/or strengthen their community. The Mini Grant Program’s goal is to empower alumni so they can take their leadership skills to the next level, as well as make a tangible difference in the world.
As the first-ever Schusterman ROI Micro Grant recipient, I can personally attest to the transformative power of this financial support. Over the last decade, these Micro Grants were instrumental in helping me achieve new goals and further my career. The funding I received enabled me to attend global conferences, workshops, and courses that were otherwise out of reach. I can directly track back the enriching impact that this program had on my personal and professional life.
The Mini Grant is deeply inspired by my experience and is an appropriate vehicle for our J Leaders community — all of whom have an insatiable curiosity and innate ambition to lead. I’m certain that by offering similar opportunities to J Leaders alumni, we can foster unique innovation, next-level collaboration, and unlimited growth. I truly hope that this financial support breeds a perpetual growth mindset where alumni never stop taking risks, exploring new ideas, as well as developing meaningful change in their communities and beyond.
Creating a legacy is a leadership foundation that I hold close to my heart — which I thought about very often during the program sessions. So, if leadership sets the tone for ethos, then I owe a debt to Peter Hoffman and Rabbi Hugh for dreaming up — as well as galvanizing — such a transformative experience. In that vein, I’m honored to play a role in creating this initiative for my ambitious peers, who inspired me with each and every interaction we shared. Along with Peter and the entire J Leaders executive team, I look forward to witnessing the incredible accomplishments of our J Leaders alumni in the years to come. I’m eager to watch these Mini Grants take shape and fuel new visions, all while supporting a truly special group of leaders ready to take on the world.