Board Candidate 2019 / Voicing Our Values

Sylvia Borstad

June 14, 2019

Student & Campaign Organizer, Tom Winter for Congress

(Kalispell, MT)

What is your experience with Forward Montana, or our sister organization Forward Montana Foundation, and why is our work important to you?

I’ve volunteered with FMT in the past and often worked with their members in the Missoula community to register voters, elect certain politicians, focus in on certain policies, lobbying legislatures, etc. FMT gives younger generations a voice, and that is incredibly needed and powerful here in the state of Montana, where over 90% of our representatives are above age 30.

Why are you interested in joining the Forward Montana Board?

I have interned with MontPIRG and the Montana Democrats, so to me, trying out the experience as a board member of an alike-ideological group seems to be the best next step in helping my community engage with their government and communities. I’d also like to bring the perspective of my background to this board so we might be able to reach different types of groups within the community better.

What skills, characteristics, experience, or insight do you have that would be a valuable addition to the board?

I offer a variety of skills and bring to the table a vast amount of experience from attending college as a single mother, going through 3 court cases while enrolled full time and working, a childhood ridden with poverty and abuse leading to an engagement following that same cycle. I have worked since I was 13, from housekeeping to waitress, to working for a federal agency at the age of 23 now that I am leaving here son because I’ve been hired onto a Congressional House candidates campaign.

What experience do you have fundraising, and what is your comfort level with asking for money?

I have quite a bit of experience from extracurricular’s I was involved in, in my youth, to finding donors for the various projects I worked on during my time on ASUM Senate. If I truly believe in an organizations mission, I will make others understand why it is so important to fund them.

Being a board member requires a time commitment to meetings, phone calls, occasional events, etc. Will you be able to fulfill these time commitments? Does anything give you pause?

I am moving home to have family help with my 3 year old son, so because of that, I will absolutely be able to fulfill any time commitments required of me. I went to school for 3 years in Missoula with little to no support system, but that isn’t a hardship I have to face this next year being based out of the Flathead. I also am having to make regular trips to Missoula, so I will be in town or wherever in the State when needed by FMT.

Good board members invest their time into Forward Montana, are ambassadors for the organization, are familiar with the work of the organization, and are responsive to other board members and staff. How will you go above and beyond being a good board member? How will you be a great board member?

I will keep all relationships professional. I am here to build bridges in my state community and will do whatever is necessary for, the board, staff and I to be successful in accomplishing set goals. I believe in an accessible and positive environment, that I want to leave others feeling better then when they came in. We are out here trying our best to push forward policies, education and leaders to create a better world for all of us, so we are all trying our best, and that’s admirable.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I believe my background as a non traditional student, who started off as vocal performance major then switched to political science, coming form a rural-conservative hometown will enable me to help FMT reach the state of Montana more. I have been impressed with all of the work the office here in Missoula does, and I can not wait to see what impact FMT has on our youth and state in the future. I would like to be a part of this collective change. Thank you for considering my application.