The Amara Legal Center was honored as part of the graduating class of the Fair Chance Partnership Program on April 24, 2017. Please read the remarks shared by our Executive Director, Stacie Reimer, below.

Good evening and thank you all for being here for this very special graduation celebration. First off, I would like to thank all those individuals who supported me throughout this journey, especially our board of directors and staff. Most importantly, I would like to thank Kristen, my Fair Chance capacity building specialist. Throughout this entire process, she has been a constant source of support and encouragement, as well as a wealth of wisdom and guidance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A year ago, I remember very clearly sitting in this audience, watching the videos of the graduating partners and thinking that we at Amara would never be able to measure up to those amazing organizations. Today, I stand before you, proud to share that yes, we do measure up and in fact, we are a stronger, more stable, and more dynamic organization than ever before.

Together, Kristen and I tackled some of the most urgent needs of Amara, including developing our board of directors and strengthening our human resources infrastructure. Week after week, Kristen patiently answered every single one of my questions- from the seemingly mundane to the incredibly complex- even including explaining to me how to explain to my board of directors our debt to asset ratio! And if ever Kristen didn’t know the answer to a question- the Fair Chance network came to the rescue. I received both practical advice as well as moral support from my fellow nonprofit professionals.

Although it’s impossible to pick out just one aspect of our partnership that has been the most important, something very valuable I gained from this partnership is confidence. Confidence to take our place at the table. Confidence that yes, we can not only succeed, but thrive as a nonprofit. And most importantly, confidence that we can continue to provide world class legal services to our clients for years to come. Thank you Fair Chance for this incredible gift.