Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Elaine Tsai
Class of 2010

Posted July 18, 2012

While at Bowdoin, Elaine was deeply involved in Cash Coalition and Alternative Spring Break. As a volunteer at the Mid-Coast CA$H Coalition, she was inspired by an experience where she was able to not only learn about our federal and state tax system but also use these valuable skills to help others. The gratification that came from helping families in our community was so great that Elaine knew she had to share this opportunity with more Bowdoin students. That was when she founded Bowdoin’s charter club of Ca$h Coalition. The experience taught her to think about how service when done in an innovative and creative manner can achieve several different goals.

Upon graduation, Elaine took a non-profit consulting fellowship with New Sector Alliance. New Sector's vision of developing young leaders through a 10-month capacity building project aligned with her goals of learning more about non-profit management while also giving the opportunity to provide some direct service. She learned everything about the social sector, from development and philanthropy to board governance and general leadership. New Sector was a great opportunity to step outside of the volunteerism side of the social sector that is usually experience in college and she still stays involved in New Sector by giving training the the Summer Fellows and Residents.

These days Elaine works for a tech start-up in the Bay Area as a Technical Customer Advocate at Twilio - providing API or developer tools so that people can build powerful Voice and SMS applications effectively.  Basically they are trying to disrupt the telecommunication industry by giving developers and businesses the ability to customize and control Voice and SMS and not have the carriers or big businesses do it.

Elaine is also an involved in the Women in Technology community in San Francisco addressing the gender unbalance of the tech industry.

"I've really enjoy meeting the other women in tech and there's a neat community where everyone supports each other in learning to code and start new businesses."

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“Bowdoin showed me that whatever you are passionate about there is some way you can use it to get involved in supporting the Common Good.”