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Jack’s Story: Tools for a Lifetime

November 20, 2023

Jack’s Story

Jack decided to participate in Arena Academy when he learned about all the valuable tools and networking opportunities that came with the program. Jack’s goal was to make an impact and gain knowledge in the space. Since Academy, Jack has started a nonprofit organization called TEP (Trans Empowerment Project).

How has Academy impacted you?

I had the fortune of attending an in-person session of Arena Academy in Charleston, SC. Little did I know that this wasn’t just another conference but a fast paced, training program that gives you not only foundational skills on how to organize or really excel at whichever lane you’re in, but also allows for real world practical experience as well. One of my favorite parts of this program is the structure! Not only do they help individuals learn their lanes, but they also place you on a teams, with other learners, who are filling an important role on a campaign so that we all got to work together, regardless of what experience we came in with, it was an amazing way to not only learn how to be an organizing director, but then having the opportunity to actually lay out a real organizing plan for our candidates. As someone who is on the autism spectrum, this was super helpful for my processing, because it also gave me a great opportunity to get immediate feedback from other members of my team as we built our campaign together. 

What advice would you give future Academy participants?

Whether you’re looking to grow your own leadership skills, or want to learn how to scale up change work, especially in the political or nonprofit sectors, this is the training program for you! They’re so good at putting job opportunities in front of graduates, keeping the tools in front of us as we continue to do our work, and just staying in touch with those who wish to remain active members of the Arena community. I couldn’t recommend this training program enough because I know the tools, trainings, and friendships that I and others have picked up here will last a lifetime!