Valerie Oliver-Durrah

Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Valerie Oliver-Durrah often heard her mother, Dorothy Mae Alexander Oliver, say, ?Every push is not down.?

When Oliver -Durrah lost her job, she used the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a philanthropic adviser and nonprofit expert. ?I got pushed out and pushed up and I haven?t looked back since,? she says.

In 1998, she created Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic to help nonprofits and individuals secure resources for programs that address the needs of underserved communities.

As the clinic?s president and CEO, Oliver-Durrah puts to good use her passion for philanthropy and the experience she gained in fundraising and community development at Girl Clubs of America, the Flatbush Development Corp., and The Association of Junior Leagues Inc.

?In addition to serving multisocial, economic and ethnic organizations throughout all five boroughs, I?m able to strategically provide support for communities of color and faith-based communities,? she says.

Oliver-Durrah has a master?s degree in guidance and personnel services from Memphis State University and a bachelor?s in sociology from Tennessee State University.

Among those from whose guidance she benefited is Hazel Dukes, current president of the NAACP New York State Conference. ?[Hazel] put me in touch with corporations I would never have had the opportunity to work or do business with,? she says.

Oliver-Durrah received the African Americans of Distinction Award, the Youth Service Award from the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislatures and a Star Award from the New York Women?s Agenda.

?I?m supposed to be a servant and give back to the community.? she says.