I feel so lucky to be doing the work that I've been doing for the past 5 years with Linking Learning to Life (soon to be launching our new name... Navicate!) When I was in my MBA program, I never would have seen myself working for a non-profit, let alone loving working at one. But here I am! As the Assistant Director of LLL, I am blessed with a career that enables me to help young people find their passion and gain the skills necessary to take the lead in shaping their own lives. I'm also able to have my hands in everything and because we're a relatively small non-profit, I also get the privilege of hearing our teens' stories firsthand... how an internship or college experience helped them make critical decisions after high school. It's awesome. I also get to meet, inspire, and collaborate with really great business people in our community. Vermont is filled with people willing to open their doors to young person and I get to give them the tools to create a high quality work experience. I also connect and work with school and non-profit champions around the state that want to start work-based learning opportunities in their neck of the woods. When that gets old (and it hasn't yet!), I lead our marketing and development efforts including our major fundraiser...the Giant Pumpkin Regatta & Festival. Because I have so much down time (ha ha), I am taking Marlboro College's Non-Profit Management Class. I truly believe that it is up to young professionals to continue the growth of the non-profit and social responsibility sectors within Vermont.
In Sanskrit, the word "satsang" means "gathering together to inquire into our true nature." This word has a special meaning to me both in my work and personal life. It is with community that the Vermont teens are able to experience real-world learning and understand its relevancy in the bigger picture of their lives. It truly humbles me every time we get a 'yes' from a business professional willing to open a door for a young person. I feel the value of 'paying it forward' was embedded in me from the beginning. I truly believe we all have the responsibility to help someone in a lesser circumstance. I am currently on the board of directors for the YWCA of Vermont and believe in our mission of "empowering women and eliminating racism." I have also been an Everybody Wins! reading mentor at the Sustainability Academy for the last three years. I did a year of volunteer service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA when I first moved to Vermont in 2007 and served at Linking Learning to Life. I also was fortunate to graduate from Leadership Champlain in 2011.
Favorite part of job? No one day is ever the same and I'm able to stay true to the entrepreneur inside of me. I get to talk to all kinds of interesting people and hear their story of how they came into the work they're in and any other adventures they are willing to share. I'm always scoping out internship opportunities for our students and career presenters for events I put on at middle and high schools. I love hearing about people's passions and how they have managed to turn them into thriving and rewarding careers.
Most inspiring mentor? I think we have something to learn from everyone we encounter. I try to live my life with this philosophy. I admire strong women leaders in our community like Lesli Blount, who I worked with when she was the Community Relations Director at Key Bank. I also admire Janet Carscadden, founder of Evolution Yoga. She's created an amazing yoga community and runs a successful business that has created jobs that impact people's lives everyday. I think Jen Peterson at the Vermont Community Foundation is pretty awesome, too. She does phenomenal work. I want to recognize that all three of these women have helped pave the way for me and the next generation of women leaders.
Who is your living hero? Sir Ken Robinson. "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." I love that. He's all about the development of leadership, creativity, and innovation to transform America's education system. He's a talented author and speaker, too. I also admire Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes. He's created an amazing company where his employees wake up wanting to go to work. What's more cool than that?
Favorite downtime activity? Running the streets of Burlington and listening to TED talks. My favorite: Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.
Favorite Vermont Escape? Hmm...tough one. There are so many beautiful places in Vermont but I would have to say brunch at Shelburne Farms is pretty phenomenal. When not outside, you can find me escaping on my yoga mat at Evolution Yoga, where I work part-time. Ommm!
Favorite social network? Pinterest...ya know, when I find myself with a few hours to kill... right.
Favorite website? www.ted.com
Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with? I can't think of anyone specific. There are so many amazing entrepreneurs that live in our community and I feel fortunate to connect with many of them through my work already. I love to meet new people, especially those that believe in paying it forward. For anyone that I haven't connected with, let's chat.