Every incredibly successful person that has ever lived has always had an earth shattering objective or motto, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
Here's how I'd describe myself and my goals:
"To change lives by connecting and bringing people together. I'm a driven individual working to empower people to maximize their opportunities and succeed. To create meaningful connections, ignite communal engagement and drive collaboration in an effort to improve the well-being of those that need it most."
Not terrible right?...
So, one of the first things people ask me all the time is if I'm from Arizona (because I don't in fact seem like I'm from Arizona). We'll it's true! I'm not an AZ native, I was actually born, raised and lived the first 18 years of my life in Queens, New York.
Now, the second most common thing I get asked is something along the lines of... "Well why'd you come all the way out here?" or, "Enjoying the heat yet?". No, I actually feel like I'm melting for most of the summer. I'm not a big heat person, but I have learned to love Arizona in my own way.
As for what brought me out here is a bit of a story...
As kids, we're often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?". For me, I never really had an answer. I always just responded "Vet" because I liked animals. But when I finished up high school and had moved onto following my goal of becoming a chef, I realized cooking wasn't really my passion; rather a hobby. What began to resonate with me was that the only thing I was really good at, the only thing I really loved to do was to help people.
So I ended up moving to Tempe in 2013 to attend ASU and to start my Political Science Degree. Boy was I wrong about that... Luckily, before I realized how wrong I was and before my first semester had started, I discovered the Nonprofit Leadership and Management degree and thought...
"That one. That's what I want to do".
And I fell in love with it. From that point on I successfully completed my Bachelors Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, as well as my Certified Nonprofit Professional Credential (CNP).
I had never really noticed it before, but ever since grade school I had always been involved in some kind of volunteer work or student organization(s). When I started high school, I wanted to do something different, something that meant something. So of course, I found something with the words "Do Something". That led me to discover Do Something.org, and I went on to start one of their clubs in my school. Over the course of 4 years, we raised several thousand dollars through fundraisers for cancer organizations, autism awareness campaigns, women's rights and so much more. Not bad for a kid from New York.
Since starting college, I'm happy to say I've moved up from bake sales and selling puzzle pieces. I've worked and volunteered for several successful nonprofit organizations within the Phoenix Community, including The Ear Foundation of Arizona, Southwest Human Development, The Salvation Army, SOUNDS Academy, Rosie's House: A Music Academy for Children, Future for Kids, Arizona Animal Welfare League and so many more. Through these experiences, I've realized that I would love to one day establish my own nonprofit organization focused around either music education or youth.
What I have found from all of this and am continuing to learn, is that I am at my happiest when I help others. It's all I want to do. And it's just that simple.