A Life Changing Experience

Written by Stephan Gater, a CIN member since 2011

Benezet House at the historic Penn Center | photo by Sino Chum of Camko Studios

I was very blessed to be able to attend the 2011 Community Investment Network (CIN) annual Leadership Summit in St. Helena Island, South Carolina this year. I must say the experience was life changing. I came all the way from Denver, Colorado not really knowing too much about strategic giving and giving circles. Herman White and I attended the Summit representing a new giving circle that we are trying to form in the “mile high city” for African American men with a love for the community.

At the Summit we had the honor of meeting on the historic grounds of The Penn School which was one of the first schools for African Americans in the south way back in 1862. This school also became a safe haven for civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King who came to the site to strategize on several occasions—what a fitting place for us to meet.

 “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” — Rabindranath Tagore

Stephan with Charles Lewis and Gloria Webb during 2011 CIN Leadership Summit | photo by Camko Studios

The Summit inspired me in many ways, listening to the other circles share their stories and insight, learning the importance of strategic giving, and also the excitement that everyone had to make a difference in their communities was priceless!!! We learned so much over the weekend that we must put to use and not sit on it. I am inspired, and excited to take everything that I learned back to Denver to get to work. We have a lot to do as we form our new giving circle in Denver but we are up for the challenge. Stay tuned for exciting updates from Denver!!!

Stephan Gater | photo by Sino Chum of Camko Studios

Stephan Gater, a native of Denver, Colorado, has established himself as a passionate, dedicated, community involved leader who is known throughout his community. He is active within several community organizations including the National Black MBA Association, Junior Achievement and the Delta Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Stephan holds a B.S. in Business Administration and also a B.S. in Management Science, both  from Tuskegee University. He also recently completed an MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Management from Regis University. Stephan is striving for success in every aspect of his life and is a firm believer “for those to whom much is given, much is expected.” You can connect with Stephan on Facebook and Twitter.

About valaida

writer. thinker. listener. idea whisperer. traveler. mad word geek. absolute scrabble freak. drinker of life. da*n good friend. ridiculous foodie. imaginative dreamer. afflicted party planner. kind conqueror. okra lover. hillbilly w/ southern roots far-stretched global sights. author of book that reframes portraits of philanthropy. Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists | http://bit.ly/htLxQU
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