When we talk about the essence of First Teacher, the words we use most are: non-judgemental, empowering, and supportive. When we met Kevin York over a year ago through a TUGG volunteer event, we had no idea that these would be same words we would use to describe Kevin York, Kayla Gonzales, and the entire Kevin York Communications (KYC) team.
KYC is a communications business that identifies one non-profit every year to donate thousands of dollars worth of expertise and coaching in their field. We were fortunate to be selected as the non-profit for 2016. Immediately, Kevin and his team were patient with us, never making us feel inadequate, as they helped us understand and grapple with what it means to communicate who First Teacher is to the rest of the world.
In the last year, KYC has helped us:
Update our website to make it more professional, dynamic, and clean
Create an internal social media calendar to keep us organized
Think creatively about our brand and streamline all our messaging so it directly connects with our mission
Create our FT video/”commercial”
Understand the value and importance of social media
Present how far we’ve come through a newly designed timeline
Elevate our online presence in a way that is true to First Teacher
While these improvements and additions have changed First Teacher, what really changed us was HOW Kevin and Kayla supported and taught us. They were teachers in the best sense of the word: providing advice, but never making us feel that we HAD to do what they said. They referred to First Teacher as “us” and “we”, becoming immersed in our mission, values and vision. In doing so, they created a bridge between two groups with a very different expertise, respecting us as the experts in our field, while being the experts in theirs.
And, to be honest, they even got us excited about social media. We admit it. So excited, in fact, that we have hired Tesean Toole as our first ever Social Media Coordinator!
The bottom line is that Kevin and his team could have easily just told us what to do; instead they included us in the process from beginning to end. We feel that instead of feeding us fish, KYC taught us how to fish. Though our official time with Kevin and KYC has come to an end, as they have chosen their 2017 pro-bono organization -- Fathers Uplift -- KYC will always be part of the First Teacher family and movement.