People always tell me that they think I have the best job in Mountain View, and I totally agree! I adore what I do, and I get to go to lots of amazing events and businesses on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.
I really need to give credit to Leadership Mountain View for giving me a solid education on our community, before I got the job. I thought I knew all about our city, but I didn’t until I completed LMV, almost ten years ago. The connections that I made in my class are still very helpful, whenever I have questions, or need to get something done around here. And even though someone might not have gone through the program the same year as me, if you find out that they are LMV alumni, you have an instant connection with them.
It’s an unspoken understanding: you know that they are the kind of person who wants to help our community.
I have strong memories of the day that LMV took me to Community Services Agency. It was raining that day. I saw people standing in line for food in the rain and it brought me to tears. Now I realize how naive it was of me to not realize how many people were hungry in Mountain View, but until someone shows you, you just wouldn’t know.
Part of my “homework” for LMV was to find a place to volunteer for 20 hours and I decided that CSA (Community Services Agency) was where I wanted to go. My job was to stock the shelves in the free-food store and to fill bags for homeless people. The bags that I helped make for homeless people were full of things like canned food with pull tabs and other items that would require no preparation.
One aspect of LMV that I always found fascinating is how much effort goes into finding the right people for the class. There is always someone from the city, someone from the police and fire departments, and the school district and library are also represented. You get to hear a unique perspective on their jobs. The average person in our community doesn’t know the inside scoop on these organizations, so it’s really eye-opening to get to hear the details.
The police ride-along was really exciting. Until you go on one, you would never know how many crazy things our police department has to deal with. I already thought they were heroes, but after my ride along, I decided that they were all super-heroes. And the 911 dispatchers, they’re a whole new level of super-hero!
Another highlight of the program was getting to learn about Freestyle Academy. I kept thinking how lucky those kids were to get to attend such an amazing school and that if I had a creative child I would definitely want to enroll them.
I was asked to be the class speaker for my LMV graduation. Although I was honored, I was petrified. I practiced and practiced my speech. I remember the audience laughed at everything I said and it wasn’t a comedy performance. I was amazed, but I just went with it. I felt like I was on The Tonight Show. And now I know that if this whole writing thing doesn’t work out, I might be pretty good as a stand up comic.
One last point that I wanted to make about Leadership Mountain View, if you have any interest in running for city council, you should definitely apply to go through LMV. I honestly think it should be required in order to be in local politics, but that’s just my opinion.
So here’s a link to the application for Leadership Mountain View. This program touched me deeply, and I wouldn’t have my incredibly awesome job without having gone through it. I was brought to tears a few times, and I laughed so much, and I met tons of cool people, who love the community as much as I do.
If you have any questions at all about the class, please email me or the Director of LMV, Bruce Humphrey, firstname.lastname@example.org. He knows way more about the program than I do; I’m just the messenger here. I love Mountain View.