This summer, I woke up one day and experienced an Oprah ah-ha moment. I realized that Girls Fight Back was sustainable, and didn’t need me anymore to function. Now that I had 2 amazing agencies marketing/selling the programs (CAMPUSPEAK and Bass Schuler Entertainment) and 6 incredible speakers conducting most programs around the world (Heather, Jaime, Khalida, Megan, Michaela and Trina) – I had eliminated myself almost completely. My speakers are 10x more awesome than me on stage and my agencies are well-oiled student programming machines. And I couldn’t be happier about all of it.
Now granted, I am the Founder of GFB and always will be. I continue to do some speaking engagements, represent GFB at conferences, network in the anti-violence community, write about safety and do media interviews. But the actual functions of the social enterprise I built at the age of 23 now works on its own. I’d like to take a moment to thank my staff, partners, fans, friends and mentors along the way for making this possible.
I’ve loved building the company, but I’m also excited about what’s next. I feel like starting GFB was just an extension of my college education, and now it’s time to apply what I’ve learned elsewhere. So many Founders make the mistake of sticking their noses in their organization too long, and end up meddling, ruining things and resisting change. I don’t want to be that girl.
So the question became, “Who will embrace what I have done, and allow me to continue my role as Founder of GFB – while letting me pursue my next professional challenge?” Enter Ashoka’s Changemakers – one of the most innovative and influential global non-profits in the world. When I interviewed at their office in Arlington, VA I immediately felt its positive energy and optimism. And I love their global focus…they are not afraid to tackle the world’s biggest and most challenging problems like access to property rights, sustainable housing, issues facing women & girls, saving the environment or improving health care. Many people joke about “solving world peace” but the folks at Ashoka think about solutions for a more harmonious world as a daily habit.
I am grateful to take my 9 years experience living the trials and successes of a social entrepreneur and work as a Community Mobilizer for Changemakers. I’m working on a wide variety of projects, but all are centered around the idea that everyone has the ability to make change in their community and in this world. Be on the lookout for my tweets and blogs to expand beyond just women’s issues and personal safety, and into the world of social entrepreneurship, global challenges, changing policy, creating sustainability and how YOU can make a difference. (You’ve been warned…)