Editor’s note: The Dallas Regional Chamber strives to make a difference in our community every day. And in working with our incredible member companies, we are making Dallas the best place to live, work, and do business.
We are especially grateful for our DRC Ambassadors, a select group of partners from member companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment and involvement with the DRC. This group acts as DRC mentors to make sure other member companies get engaged through programs, services, and the benefits available through DRC membership.
By Angela Copeland, Community Engagement Coordinator, Life School
Tell us about your organization and its work in the Dallas Region.
Life School of Dallas serves K-12 students in Dallas and Ellis counties. Life School opened its doors in 1998 with 15 staff members and approximately 260 students, offering hope to Oak Cliff families where children were influenced by gang violence. Today, Life School serves almost 6,000 students across eight campuses with a new Carrollton location opening in fall 2019.
Life School focuses on character and leadership; teaching our 15 Life Leader attributes – among them, critical thinking, global perspective, and social awareness – to help prepare students to be “Ready to Learn, Ready to Lead and Ready for Life.”
It is an honor to be a part of this amazing school district, serving our students and families.
Why did you join the DRC?
When I stepped into my current role at Life School, I was brought to a DRC Chamber Live member orientation. It was my first visit with the DRC, and because it was such a positive experience, I came back. And then I noticed something: Every time I went to a DRC meeting or event, I left with that same, positive feeling!
The DRC has created this incredible culture of connection, encouragement, and professionalism – without feeling stuffy. Most people are interested in not only finding ways to work with each other but truly want a genuine connection.
What do you enjoy most about being a DRC Ambassador?
I enjoy helping DRC members get connected. I have had so many great experiences through the DRC, and I want to help others do the same.
I also enjoy helping those who may not be aware of how to make the most of their current level of membership and educate them as to what is possible at higher levels.
What is your favorite “connection” story during your time as an Ambassador?
I don’t even know where to begin. I have countless stories introducing members, getting members involved with other areas within the DRC (such as Young Professionals) and, of course, getting the DRC member list into new members’ hands. Then, they can begin introducing themselves to their neighbors… and I haven’t even mentioned the incredible DRC events!
One story that resonates with me happened at my second DRC Chamber Live event. I was walking around and happened to be “right there” when a new member arrived. I could tell she was unfamiliar with her surroundings, so I helped her find a table, where we sat and chatted. We were able to get acquainted with the other new members at the table, and we became friends. She later confessed just how nervous she was and that she was so grateful I was there to help her meet others and show her around. Since then, she has been meeting other members on her own, and the DRC continues to be a great experience for her.
I also cannot help but emphasize the Ambassador benefit of meeting people that have synergized with Life School’s mission. Through the program, I connected with a person who ended up joining our Legacy Club group – a fundraising arm of The Life School Education Foundation comprised of CEOs and business owners. This individual coordinated our very first inaugural Clay Shoot this past April. That connection originated from the DRC. THANK YOU!
What would you tell a member company that is looking to get more involved at the DRC?
I would encourage a member company to first recognize that with the DRC, the sky’s the limit with how involved and connected you can be. I encourage every company to take advantage of the DRC member list. I know several company leaders who have taken the list and just started reaching out to fellow DRC members. Next, really take a look at your membership level, and if possible, get to a level where you can participate on task forces and councils. There are so many great opportunities there and you’ll be making a difference in Dallas. Last, be consistently involved and you’ll almost become DRC family, continually meeting more and more people. We’re all here to make a difference in this world!