Who are you as an individual?
I am originally from New York City, raised in subsidized housing by two hard working parents who were not interested in their 3 daughters falling prey to the violence and drugs that infected our community on a daily basis. Despite growing up way too quickly because I was exposed to so much so early in life, I persevered because of the love of my family and teachers who saw great potential in me. In 1995 I moved to Cincinnati to attend Xavier University. The first to attend a university, there were many lessons learned at Xavier as well, but still I persevered. I learned what it was like to interact and engage with people who didn’t look like me nor had the life story as me. After graduation I embarked on what I didn’t know would be a career of service working in non-profits like the Epilepsy Council of Greater Cincinnati, Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Home, American Red Cross, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and now Cincinnati Works. Through all the trials and all the lessons of employment and career, I learned that I can face and overcome hard things. I learned that I am resilient, I’m hard working, I’m innovative, I’m passionate, I’m optimistic, I’m collaborative and I’m imperfect. It’s the beauty of being human and I don’t take for granted the life experiences that helped to shape and mold me into the woman I am today. I have a loving husband and two beautiful, healthy, courageous children which are the epitome of being truly blessed.
What excites you both about being an Impact 100 Member?
Being a part of the non-profit industry for almost 20 years, I have always been driven by the mission and the programming. It’s what fueled me and gave me purpose. However, recently I realized that I want my impact to exceed what I, as one person, am capable of doing and witness what impact I can make in being part of a collective. Being a member of Impact 100 allows me to do that in a very meaningful and powerful way. We are financially supporting organizations and missions that have people under their roof that work as tirelessly as I have and that’s exciting!!! Additionally, I get to be a voice that not only can speak from the position of working in non-profit but also from the range of experiences I have had from growing up in poverty as a woman of color. I have felt embraced and appreciated by the women at Impact 100 since day 1 and I look forward to the relationships I will build through this community!
Could you provide a brief description of your favorite Impact 100 moment, if you have one?
My favorite Impact 100 moment honestly was when a member of my team and I pitched our Workforce Connection program at the Music Hall. I felt like the red carpet was laid out for us non-profits and we don’t get that level of recognition and service very often. Everyone was so warm and inviting, the energy in the room was infectious. To know that over $400,000 was raised by a group of women to give back to the community was so powerful and I knew that night that I wanted this to be a part of my journey.
What tips do you have to connect with other women/community during COVID?
- I have two zoom calls with small groups at church every week that helps with maintaining spiritual and mental resilience
- I have participated in the *Wined* challenge where I have randomly dropped baskets off at friends’ homes with wine, goodies and an encouraging note
- I have mailed encouraging cards to women I know are having a difficult time
- At work I lead a COVID buddy task force and we post Tuesday workouts and Thoughtful Thursday activities to all staff
- I call my mom and 2 sisters at least every 2-3 days