Board Member Focus: Kristina Kent, The Net Charter High School

KristinaKent-webHow did you become involved with this charter school?
I previously served on the board of NOLA 180/Langston Hughes Academy. As my service on that board was coming to a close, I met Elizabeth Ostberg, the co-founder and principal of The NET Charter High School, which was a few months shy of its first year of operation. I was so impressed with the promise of The NET to provide struggling high school students with a second chance at a high school diploma and a bright future that I jumped at the opportunity to join The NET’s mission.

Why did you say yes when asked to serve?
In general, I think for anyone who is service oriented, nonprofit board membership is a really unique opportunity to stay involved. No matter what has happened on any particular day in my work or personal life, in a small way, I can feel like I have made a positive impact because of my service on the board. It is also a really wonderful opportunity to work with extremely talented people that I may have never even met, let alone worked with, had I not become involved in board service.

What was compelling about the opportunity?
The NET is a unique space where young people who have struggled with a myriad of issues, from homelessness to addiction to learning disabilities, are offered a clean slate and given a second chance to earn their diploma. The faculty and staff at The NET are some of the hardest working people I have ever met and their dedication to each and every student at The NET is remarkable. Students graduate from The NET, not only prepared to continue on in any career or educational path they choose, but knowing they matter and that their lives can have a positive impact on the world. I am very grateful to get to be a small part of this work.

What leadership roles have you had while serving on the board?
I have served as board chair since I joined the board in 2012.

Is there anything you know now that you wished you had known before?
There are too many things to list, but I think the most important thing I have learned is to understand others’ strengths and to rely on those strengths. Rome was not built in a day and it certainly was not built by one or a few individuals. It takes all of us working together to improve the educational outcomes of youth in our city. Our success as a city depends on it.