Portfolio Alumni Profile: Gina LaMotte
Graduation Year: 2008
Employer: EcoRise Youth Innovations
Job Title: Executive Director
Prior to graduate school, Gina LaMotte spent seven years gathering experience in education and sustainable development. She worked with programs targeting at-risk youth in Brazil, India, Nepal, Guatemala, New York City, and Taos, New Mexico and developed a robust after-school program at a middle school in Austin.
In Portfolio courses Gina applied academic studies to the dozens of nonprofit organizations she had worked with. “Although I didn’t believe there was only one right way to run a social profit, the Portfolio Program was so refreshing and illuminating. I remember relishing the practicality of the knowledge I was learning – concrete skills such as board and volunteer engagement, fundraising, and business development.”
The Nonprofit Portfolio also gave her the confidence and tools to start her own organization. She unveiled her social venture, EcoRise Youth Innovations (formerly UpLift Austin), at the 2008 Social Innovation Challenge. EcoRise empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges by teaching environmental literacy, design and social innovation. Entering its fifth year, EcoRise has served over 3000 students from 18 middle and high schools.