Bonnie Braun shares two stories of how connecting with KFLA has empowered her work
I am writing to share two recent stories of how the KFLA network helped me with two projects. Both of these stories are examples of ways I continue to benefit from the existence of the KFLA and why I continue to be involved with the KFLA and donate to its good work.
1—As Project Manager for the Cooperative Extension-Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Partnership, I was responsible for securing reviewers of applications to be part of a multi-year community engagement initiative designed to co-create a culture of health in multiple communities. I shared a call for reviewers with KFLA and within 36 hours I had four times the number of reviewers I needed. Such a quick and extensive response from Kellogg Fellows permitted us to select reviewers with a wide range of diverse characteristics and expertise.
The reviewers were conscientious and completed their reviews as requested. All provided comments to the applicants and feedback on the review process. Many provided critical thinking with enough explanation that we will be able to make the process even better going forward. Their positive comments about the initiative helped validate the vision for improving health of current and future generations expressed through the application process.
I was surprised how many reviewers thanked me for being part of what they saw as an exciting and important endeavor. And I was pleased that one, Wil Cwikiel (KNFP-15), thought the review process gave him ideas for actions he could do. With his permission, I’m sharing his comment:
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this program as a reviewer. As someone transitioning from a principal in a small rural/resort community to the superintendent/principal of a tiny remote/rural community, reviewing these applications helped me think about how I might be a catalyst for creating a culture of health in my new position.
2 — I met Angie Tagtow (FSPF-06), a Kellogg Fellow, during the design team meeting for an upcoming KFLA summit. I shared new research findings about a study of farmers and ranchers and their health and health care costs. The results are most timely as our nation considers health policy options. She guided me to agricultural journalists who have subsequently written about the study.
We are getting increasing coverage in multiple outlets. She has sent me copies of articles. I’m grateful for her assistance to another Fellow.
I thank Martha for all she does to keep the KFLA moving forward. Her stewardship to the vision of the fellowship programs is another testament to the power of the investment of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and others who believe in leadership as a tool of strengthening communities and nations.