According to an unwritten life rule established and metered out by my parents, success in life and in one’s work is accomplished by following a combination of three key ingredients: gaining an education, hard work and dedication to one’s career, and taking time to give back.
Since assuming the new position at the Minneapolis Urban League as the director of marketing/communication/PR, I have learned that of all of the ingredients, the most important is taking time to give back. I believe that you can earn a stellar education from the most prestigious institution, or be entirely focused and dedicated to growing your career, but if you don’t take the time to give back-whether to your family, your community, or to those in need-that great education you earned and all that hard work really mean nothing unless the fruits of each are shared.
Co-workers call me “the hardest working person” at the Minneapolis Urban League because I often work past the normal business hours. That’s because I believe it’s important to get the message out to the community about the programs and services that the Minneapolis-based nonprofit has to offer.
I work hard to get the message to the African-American community-particularly to women and youth-because women and children are the ones who, in my opinion, are affected most disproportionately by crime, drug use, incarceration, domestic abuse and gang violence. When I look in the eyes of a young mother who works two low-paying jobs to pay the bills and has a child at home lured by gangs, I want her to be able to look back and see someone who won’t criticize and condemn her, but who understands her struggle and will help her find a way out.
To contact the Urban League for help or for volunteering call 612-302-3100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want that young mother to look at me and see someone who cares about her well-being because our roles could easily be reversed. I easily could be standing in her shoes-and, at one time, I was in her shoes. As a woman of color, I know too well how difficult it is to pull one’s self up by the bootstraps and find a good-paying job, access to health care and take care of a family when you’re struggling alone. Sometimes, those bootstraps require two hands.
I want people in the community to know that I work to get the message out because the Minneapolis Urban League has the resources to be their second pair of hands. My work is fulfilling each day because in some small way I am helping to make the north Minneapolis communities a better place to live, gain an education, work and play-one person at a time. I’m following my parents’ unwritten life rules and finding happiness in both my life and my career by sharing my accomplishments and happiness and with others.