Call me impatient but I never wanted to wait until my “second act” to live my fullest life. I am a Corporate Executive AND a Humanitarian who formed her own non profit in 2014. It was about not listening to “societal norms” and listening to that little voice inside saying “your journey is going to be different” that has shaped my life today
For me it was about acknowledging in my late twenties that my life’s direction was going to be different and I would have to find a way to make it work for me. Having volunteered since a little girl- I didn’t know how to exist without giving back in a meaningful way however when I started traveling 150,000 miles a year I had to find a way. My corporate career was taking off and I was enjoying the ride.
I had heard about volunteer vacations and thought I would give it a try. I saved two weeks of my vacation to try this new type of vacation. My first trip was to La Victoria Peru to volunteer at Mother Teresa’s Home of the Desitute and the Dying. It changed me- forever. For years after, I would save ALL of my vacation and volunteer all over the world. It was amazing – however something was missing, I hated seeing how much of my money was going to administrative costs, and how limited the relationships were that I was building. These volunteer vacation programs werent going as deep in the communities as I wanted. I thought to myself- I wish I could start my own non profit, cover administrative expenses myself, and engage donors and the local communities in my own unique way.
In 2014, I formed my own non profit- City Chik on a Mission. We have built schools in Kenya and Ghana, have piloted vocational training programs, funded scholarships, and hosted educational field trips. Most importantly, we have entered these communities with love and dignity, we work together in achieving the positive impact and we stay with them through educational efforts, community development and vocational training. We see the importance of being committed to the whole lifecycle.
When I was first starting out- I kept my world very separate the corporate and the non profit- however as my passion grew for both they started to merge. It has been amazing to see the impact on others as I have shared my story. People have shared with me their dreams, their purpose, their perceived limitations, whether millennial or baby boomer- it is all the same- we want to have purpose and live our lives by our values. It is a beautiful thing. Now having a social cause platform- Mission and Movement- I am able to create avenues for all to live with purpose TODAY. Leading with love has shown me that when you come from the heart the impact and rewards are truly priceless.