What is Faces of New Profit? It’s a spotlight on members of the New Profit community, why they do what they do, and who they are. This week, we talk to Lizzie Kaplan...
What is your role at New Profit?
I work in Vanessa Kirsch's office as her Special Projects Associate. I spend a lot of my time assisting her with fundraising work, but also work closely with Caroline and Eliza to make sure everything "Team VK" is running smoothly, from requests for her time, to managing her network, and helping with meeting prep.
What motivated you to work at New Profit/in the social sector?
I'm a firm believer in contributing to whatever community I'm in, in whatever way I can. I believe that wherever we are, we have an obligation to improve it and make things better for everyone - starting with the fundamentals of education, health, and opportunity. That is the point of being a human, and being part of a network that is bigger than ourselves. I can't imagine spending my time doing any other work - this is IT!
What is the most surprising thing about you?
I guess this isn't that surprising, but I'm a huge foodie. I love exploring places through local foods and experimenting in my kitchen. You can learn a lot about someone through food - sharing meals with people is one of my favorite past times. When I was little I used to pretend I was a Food Network host and would look into the microwave and pretend it was a camera.
What is on your bucket list?
My bucket list is so long...but top of it is hiking Mount Kilimanjaro with my twin brother, as well as hiking Mount Rainier (because it's in my home state!) The trick is finding time to train...
Describe yourself in three words.
Grateful. Energetic. Curious.
What is the theme song of your life?
Or Name a few songs that make up the soundtrack of your life. I have a pretty random taste in music (just depends on my mood), but my favorite artists are Stevie Nicks, James Taylor, and John Legend. When I was in high school I was on the front page of The Seattle Times because the photographer got a shot of me crying hysterically while watching John Legend perform...#awkward.
What inspires you/keeps you going in this work?
I think it's the knowledge that everyday, every person here at New Profit is devoting their time to finding solutions to some of our nation's biggest problems. The team is so dedicated, and chooses to be here and dig in to some tough stuff. The fact that this many smart, dedicated people show up and work everyday to get it done - that is inspiring to me.
What is your favorite quote?
Again, I have a ton of favorites. But, this one is pretty good:
"Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you ever can."
What is your favorite book?
Favorite recent book is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I also love everything written by Zadie Smith - I love the way she writes about intersections of culture in urban areas.
Who in your life has had the greatest influence on who you are today?
My twin brother. We couldn't be more different but I find that I think about him and his perspective in just about everything I do. He and I are completely different learners and we experience the world in extremely different ways - but having him around has taught me how to see the world through someone else's lens, and to appreciate the way everyone's brain works uniquely.