A personal message from Mitchell Kauffman
“That the meadow is greener for I had passed, and no one need know, so long as I know.”
Though I am not sure from where this prose came, its message has long resonated as my personal statement of life purpose. To see the world just a little better for the contributions I have made, and to do so without the motivation of fanfare, seems the ultimate of selfless giving to which I aspire.
This passion can best be understood in the context of my background. My family had limited resources when I was a child. I benefited from fortunate opportunities which have made a tremendous difference and for which I am very grateful. My hope is that through my efforts I can provide comparable opportunities to others with similar disadvantaged backgrounds.
My mother and I were abandoned when I was three years old. With an only child and no extended family to help, my single mother struggled during the 1950s and 1960s at a time when single mothers were less than accepted.
I floundered in school, barely graduating from high school with no sense of direction. But after working menial jobs for a year, I became close to a neighbor family and they inspired me with the importance of higher education. Their support helped me develop an inner drive and prompted me to enroll at a local junior college. I began to find my niche and excelled in academics which prompted my acceptance to the University of California at Santa Barbara, where I subsequently was recognized on their Dean’s List for academic achievement.
Realizing the importance of higher education in a competitive world, I later applied for and was fortunate to receive a graduate fellowship at Claremont University. There, I was privileged to study under Peter Drucker, the “father of modern management.” Dr. Drucker not only instilled business skills, but also inspired me with his commitment to giving back and community service. This in turn fueled my commitment to serve clients, my community and society with strong integrity. I like to believe that my practice and service to others follow his role model.
Again recognizing the importance education serves, I subsequently earned a Certification in Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning, then went on to achieve their Masters of Science in Financial Planning. This was in addition to a Masters in Business Administration from the Drucker Management Center, Claremont Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
As I reflect back with tremendous gratitude, it often resonates how, if not for a few incredible opportunities (like a college work study program that had just been funded literally days before I applied) my life could have been much different. I envisioned scores of others who had less—others who were burdened with mental illness, homelessness, lack of educational opportunities; others who struggled just to survive another day. I feel very grateful for my good fortune, and a passion was ignited in me to give back—a passion that has burned brighter with each passing year.
My commitment to community service has taken many forms—from serving on nonprofit boards to providing scholarships to students in need. I feel privileged to be a financial advisor, to reflect honor onto my profession, and to leave a legacy of inspiration for others following in my footsteps.
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