For over 15 years, Mashona Council has been fortunate to work in her passion and impact the lives of teens, families and communities through her work with youth development nonprofit organizations around the country and abroad. Beginning as a college volunteer within a national nonprofit and ending her professional career as the Director of Operations for a youth development nonprofit organization, she has seen and experienced a wide range of organizational efficiencies and inefficiencies. Recognizing that most youth serving nonprofit organizations do not fail because of a lack of passion and commitment, but rather a lack of sustainable and capacity-building practices in the areas of staff training, program and curriculum development and evaluation; Mashona launched Council Consulting, LLC.
Mashona has facilitated professional development trainings at Boys and Girls Club Keystone Conferences, Association of C5 Youth Programs Annual Summit, Crossroads for Kids summer staff training and the National Afterschool Association. She is also a certified Weikart Center for Youth trainer. She is committed to helping organizations grow by providing leadership training and coaching, strategic planning and visioning and program design, evaluation and management.
1. What is your favorite destination?
Outside. Don’t get me wrong I love to travel throughout the US and am committed to adding stamps to my passport, but simply taking time to be outside is my favorite. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a day hike near the Chattahoochee, camping at one of GAs amazing state parks, or laying in my hammock in my backyard; outside is my favorite destination.
2. What was your first car, any cool story behind getting it?
My 1st car was a 1989 Ford Tempo. My mom was waiting to give me the car because it was a manual and I didn’t really know how to drive it, although I had watched her for years. My mom took me out to drive one afternoon and I did ok, the next day I was on my own because I had to get to my after school job and no one was home to give me a ride. Even though the car cut off several times, I eventually made it to work. The car was officially mine after that.
3. What gets you excited about the day?
The fact that each new day offers new opportunities is what gets me most excited. I know it’s one of the reasons that I enjoy being a consultant so much, is because each day depending on the project that I am working on brings a newness that excites me.
4. Who was your celebrity crush?
Hmmm…I’ve always crushed pretty hard on Sanaa Latham and Taye Diggs. There was a season when I literally watched the movie Brown Sugar (or it watched me because I fell asleep) every night. I had just moved to Atlanta and it was like hanging out with old friends to end the day.
5. What’s your biggest passion?
Hands down- my biggest passion is seeing a young person (teens specifically) realize the power of their voice, the value of their experiences and the purpose of their time on earth. To the core, I am a youth development professional and have dedicated my life to answer this call. Now, through my consulting work, I am able to inform, ignite or re-inspire that passion of others in this field because our young people deserve it.
6. Best advice you’ve ever gotten from your mom?
I have actually had a book idea for years to write about all of the great advice my mother has given me. The advice that I hear in my head most often is “consider the source”. When I find myself frustrated, offended or feeling that there has been some level of injustice, I am reminded to consider the source of the person/persons involved. Considering what is motivating them, what has offended them to cause the reaction, or what I know/have experienced of them previously helps me to not take their “stuff” personally. I am able to stay mindful of where the challenge is truly coming from and keep a perspective that allows me to keep my peace.
7. Kroger or Publix?
Kroger- so I can earn those fuel points…gas is expensive!
8. If you were a professor, what course what would you teach?
I would teach an introductory freshman/sophomore seminar that incorporated personal character and leadership development through community building activities, local exploration, and writing.
9. How do you relax after a long day?
I’m committed to relaxing throughout the day. So I am a big fan of scheduling in some nap time. Having time to rejuvenate helps to make my days NOT feel so long. I think the need for nap time/siestas for adults has been overlooked, I’m ready to start a movement, who’s joining me?
10. Do you have any hidden talent?
If I do, they are also hidden from me.