Exploring the Why Behind Norte

Those of us who are fortunate enough to spend a significant time around kids—parents, grandparents, teachers, Norte coaches—often spend a great deal of time answering the question “why?”

“Why is the sky blue?” “Why do dogs bark?” “Why do we have to eat our vegetables?”  

This innate curiosity enriches a developing mind with information about the world and our place in it. As an organization, routinely asking “why” opens up opportunities to see ourselves a little differently and provide meaning to the work before us—asking “why” challenges assumptions.

Last month, following our core staff’s lead, the Board of Directors examined Norte‘s “why.” More specifically, we asked what the organization’s core values are? To me, the two are synonymous. Our brainstorm resulted in the following values to explore.

This examination comes roughly six months into our current strategic plan. We are also coming off a full year of delivering essential programming and services during the COVID-19 pandemic and a year of challenging questions about inclusivity around equity, fairness, and systemic racism. It feels like the right time to have this conversation.

What words from the word cloud above reflect the “why” of Norte to you? Do they reflect the values you think of when you think of Norte? What have we missed, or are there any that you would add?

As this discussion continues, we want to hear from you because you are essential to what Norte does and where it goes from here. So, if you could choose 1–3 words to describe Norte and our impact on the community, what would you choose?

We’d love to hear from you—shoot me your words in an email at

Thank you, and keep asking “why.”


Chris Hinze
Norte Board of Directors, President

P.S. In recent months, we’ve started to publish the minutes from our monthly Board of Director meetings. You can find an archive of those on our website’s “Our Governance” page, along with other information about how the organization operates.