TNS Executive Client Spotlight: Shari Krull, Executive Director for StreetWise Partners
Shari Krull is the Executive Director at StreetWise Partners (SWP).
Whose mission is:
StreetWise Partners is a non-profit organization with a mission to harness the mentoring resources of the private sector to reduce unemployment within disadvantaged communities of New York City and Washington, D.C.
StreetWise Partners pairs business professionals with mentees who are unemployed/underemployed in order to provide them with the skills, resources, and access to networks they need to secure and maintain employment.
Shari Krull brings a unique skillset as the Executive Director at SWP. Her background in education as an Adjunct Professor at New York University and her position as the former Executive Director for Grace Institute make her a champion for education, mentoring and job creation.
Shari also serves on the board of New York City’s Education and Training Coalition, and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Q: What is your favorite part about your position?
I am very lucky – I love what I do. I get to run an organization that helps people become employed. At StreetWise we know that a job means more than just a paycheck – it is a sense of pride, personal identity and financial security.
Q: What are your biggest challenges as the Executive Director?
My biggest challenge is knowing how many people need our services and not having enough resources to help. As a non-profit, we are dependent on the generosity of others, so I am working hard to raise more money to expand our impact.
Q: What motivates you?
Our mentees motivate me every day. Their stories of resiliency and hunger for learning is very powerful. They come to us with the need for access to professional development, professional resources and social capital. Through our mentoring program, they gain these tools to join the workforce. It is amazing to see them excel – many of them increase their average personal income from $10K a year to over $35K!
Q: What sets SWP apart from other mentorship programs?
For over 20 years, StreetWise Partners (SWP) has served as one of the only workforce development mentoring programs in the country. We are also one of the only mentoring programs that serve adults.
The goal of SWP is to harness the human capital of the private sector to reduce unemployment and generational poverty within disadvantaged communities. SWP mitigates three driving factors of the employment opportunity gap: lack of professional role models, lack of professional development and lack of professional networks. SWP’s one-year mentoring program provides customized, individualized attention to students and internship/job seekers while helping them establish an expansive professional network made up of hundreds of advocates who open doors and support long term career success. SWP was founded in New York City in 1997 and expanded to Washington D.C. in 2006. Since inception, SWP has served 7,000 mentees through the support of 12,000 mentors.
Q: What are your 2019 goals for SWP?
We are excited to expand our reach in 2019. We will be opening StreetWise Detroit in September 2019, with the goal of supporting the local community through workforce development mentoring. We will also be expanding our NYC programming by serving an additional 95 mentees over the next 12 months.
Q: What is your most memorable moment as the Executive Director at SWP?
My most memorable moment was having a former mentee approach me in a restaurant. She hugged me and told me that as a result of StreetWise, she was now working as a manager at a large corporation. StreetWise taught her how to function as a strong employee and as a result, she was making a high salary to support herself and her family. She was so proud of how far she had come and shared her advancement goals for the future. This was just one of the stories that I have heard over the years and it makes my job so meaningful!
January is National Mentoring Month and an exciting time to get involved with SWP. With their plans for expansion this yea, they need another 200 mentors to help support their 95 new NYC mentees. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor please contact Manager of Volunteer Engagement April Griswold at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can support the SWP mentees on their path to economic self-sufficiency!
Thank you, Shari, for sharing your story as the first spotlight in the TNS Executive series! Please visit www.streetwisepartners.org for more information on the amazing things SWP is doing for their communities.
Our goal for this series is to highlight the amazing work, inspiring stories and unique cultures of our client base. If you are interested in being featured in our series please contact Ashley Pina at email@example.com.