This week I learned that our concept paper for 3 more years of AmeriCorps funding was approved and we have been invited to submit a full proposal. I'm not sure how many people were turned down, but it's a good feeling to know we have a chance. Next week we'll receive the full instructions and application and begin working on it.
It's always a busy time to add this monumental task, but this is as good a time as any. Most of the begining of the year training has already happened and the year is well underway. We'll also be applying for money to other funding sources because if we don't we'll have to close our doors!
In all my years in education, going on 20, I've always operated on "soft monies" ie. specific grants that could and do disappear. When the grant is over, your services are no longer needed, you don't have a job, the program is over!! That's never happened to me, there have always been other sources of funding that came in, but nevertheless there's always a scary moment when you are very unsure about your future and the future of everything you have built. I'm there right now.
I think the important thing is not to let that immobilize you. My focus is not only to get the AmeriCorps funding but other, additional money so that we can grow and expand. That's why having the new program in Laredo is so exciting and affirming. Knowing that we can continue to grow and to make an ever increasing difference. So, with the end of our 3 year grant cycle, I'm focusing on being one step closer to growth, not closure.
Wish us luck!