Director of Children's Nonprofit

Captain Rick LeFevre

Tell us about your work---what do you do? In 1990, I left my job as an electrical engineer and started a nonprofit agency to help inner city youth . The idea was to start a program to use sailing as a means for inner city youth to learn teamwork, trust and to help build their self-esteem. What skills are needed? I started with no experience. I was a volunteer at a boy's home and a recreational sailor. I learned everything I know from on the job training. I guess the most important skills are persistence and never giving up. What was your major? Electrical Engineering How did you get started in your career? I started the program in 1990 to help inner city youth by using sailing and sail training to help them learn valuable lessons that would help them throughout life. It has since transformed into a full-blown educational program centered on a 75-foot topsail schooner. What experience do you need in this job? Mostly life experience and the willingness to do something that appears impossible. Describe your "typical" workday: My work entails directing a small company (a nonprofit agency), managing the office and personnel, developing programs for the children , designing lesson plans, and speaking in class. Of course, I also keep busy captaining the boat and making sure it is properly maintained. I also have to do a lot of fundraising. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Fundraising is by far the most difficult task. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Definitely working with the kids and sailing, especially seeing those 30 smiling faces. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? The nonprofit field is extremely rewarding, but not financially. Check out any career in the nonprofit arena carefully before you dive in.