OTTUMWA — It was a journey for Krista Tedrow to open up No Opportunity Wasted (N.O.W). She finally decided to go for it back in June, after she said God gave her a clear direction.
“I went to a [church] service,” she said, “… I was praying as the service was closing and I was like ‘OK, God, I think this is yes, but I really need to hear something.’ My head is down and the guy came he was a guest speaker and ‘he’s like the Lord has a word for you.’ ... He was like you have been a phenomenal worker and you’ve set up some really great things. The Lord is saying if you don’t go, you won’t grow. So I did it.”
Tedrow said N.O.W.’s purpose is to help people and businesses by collaborating. They look at data or trends to identify how a business or startup can improve. That’s especially true for challenges people face coming from nontraditional backgrounds.
“There’s real world issues not only within Job Corps,” she said, “but within, you know, the prison to work reentry, within foster care transition, within a lot of different fields that technology can be an answer to, to help the staff and students and access resources and stay connected.”
Her starting point was working at Job Corps as a concurrent training coordinator and as a career preparation specialist. She said her love for helping people and her love for unlimited potential is what drives her business. Nine other people make up Tedrow’s team. The team members work with clients to cater to their professional needs.
Shounam Ches worked with Tedrow when he was a Job Corps student. He said Tedrow was a tremendous help in guiding his future and also helping his brother, Jey, with college. He’s been working as a N.O.W. digital marketing and media specialist and said he has enjoyed his time working with Tedrow and learned so much.
“She encouraged me and many others to keep going. … I just think she’s amazing,” Ches said.
Tedrow and her team are in the process of developing an app to allow Job Corps students to let Tedrow and her team know if they need mental health support or other services to help them succeed in college. She has never created an app before, but she is confident it will launch successfully. The app also gives her former Job Corps students, who are now on the N.O.W. team, the chance to develop problem solving.
“There’s not a lot of opportunity around here for software development interns at Indian Hills to go to places,” she said. “There’s no opportunities for graphic designers very much.”
She wants her business to be different and has other goals, missions and visions.
“Anything I do with business, I want to be able to make sure that we’re making a social impact,” she said. “So how can we align our mission, our purpose, our abilities and talents and skill sets to elevate and create a more equitable future for all.”