The long version of my story that will take you about 2 minutes to read can be found here. As much as I haven’t scratched the surface with what I know is possible for myself, what I will say that I’ve accomplished is an interesting body of work that connects me to where I am today. Using my past as a guide, to a certain degree, I understand that I’m in control of what lies ahead. However, what I do know is that everything that I’ve done can be used to propel myself to create the change I want to see, focusing on what I’m great at and building a team that supports and shares this idea. Prior to attending the seminar, I battled writing out a business proposal to “be prepared” which after a few hours I immediately scratched because I had no idea what the hell I wanted to propose. The first day of the workshop, after we all got a general idea of what we’d be up to over the next 48 hours, I had one idea and project that stood out, but still didn’t know if it was substantial enough to make a difference and ultimately, be worth it. The beauty behind sharing my story with others – the nitty gritty, as in what I’m currently up to (because there wasn’t much time to dive into what you previously did) - was that it revealed why I feel that there’s still a missing piece in my community and questioning/digging deep into what change can I help to make to bridge the gap.
So, I’ll share my story on what I’m doing now. I work with amazing, inspirational and fearless girls mainly between the ages of 10-14 who aspire to be Olympians, Scholars and Doctors among other brilliant things. At this age, they’re battling with fitting in with what’s cool, and my team and I create a safe space for them to share their biggest dreams with us, through facilitating dreams & goals workshops, and encourage them to know that whatever they dream, they can achieve. I love what I do. What I love even more is the opportunity that presents itself whenever I hear from girls, who think their dreams are too ambitious, and I notice there’s still something missing. In this space where my team and I facilitate these workshops, I don’t see my 10-year-old self amongst this group. I often think of what and where I’d be had I had been given this type of guideline to write down who I want to be and I realize that there are thousands of girls who could absolutely need this, especially in the Baltimore community that I work and reside in.
Throughout the course of the seminar, we engaged in small brainstorming sessions with others to share what our big project is. In an intimate setting, with, I shared how I want to reach out and connect with minorities in the Baltimore community who aren’t active, don’t have a support system and host these workshops with them, similar to what I do now in my current role. My past work involved having a hand in event planning, coordinating and working with kids which seems to be the common theme.
So, what’s my big project? Facilitate and coordinate a free movement festival (think yoga + arts + goal setting workshop for kids) for 100+ girls in Baltimore by August 31st 2016. This is pretty ambitious, but the beauty is that it ties with my current work, my passions and what I want to change in my community. Having this vision in mind helps me break it down to smaller projects (these #ruckusmakerschallenge posts to start) that will be equally ambitious and important, just on a smaller scale.
On the final day of the workshop, Seth gave each of us a ShipIt journal which helps breakdown our big project. From the basics of when you’ll start, who needs to be involved (and who doesn’t) and when you’ll actually ship this project, precisely to the date and time. The fact that I declared this out loud, to you, means that I have to work on it, and it’s scary #af. But, in the end, I know it’ll be worth it.
Now it’s time to build, connect and make it happen.