Job description: I co-facilitate our newest prevention initiative called Stewards of Children. We provide free community training throughout central Iowa encouraging adults to become informed, responsible and proactive about preventing child sexual abuse.
Background: After completing my freshman year of college, I decided to take an indefinite hiatus from academia and focus on exploring life. My work experiences comprise a variety of fields: music nonprofit fundraising, performing arts, alternative wellness and the coffee industry. Two years ago, I returned to school to complete my bachelor’s degree and will graduate this June from DePaul University with a self-designed focus in communication and cultural studies.
Notable achievements: When I lived in Los Angeles, I studied with the Steppenwolf Theatre through an audition-only program. In 2009, I completed 56 hours of training to become certified as a sexual assault survivor advocate through Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago. I am also a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Why I do what I do: I am passionate about creating and sustaining a world that is safe and nurturing for children, allowing them to reach their fullest potential and engaging communities in the process. Because my work involves public speaking, it allows me to blend my interests in performance and social issues.
What I do to get away from work: I am a voracious reader. A compellingly written book is the greatest form of escape. Films at the Fleur and the Varsity theaters are wonderful pastimes as well.
How I give back to the community: I would love to continue my work as a sexual assault survivor advocate, and recently connected with a local support agency that offers this service. I also plan to volunteer at the March Planned Parenthood Book Sale, one of my all-time favorite events of the year.
Words to live by: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind, ” Theodor Geisel, (Dr. Seuss).
Best business book I’ve read lately: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It emphasizes kindness, generosity, flexibility, and graceful communication as paramount in creating successful business and personal relationships.
One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: Improved and sustaining career opportunities for theatrical, musical and visual artists.
Best place in central Iowa to entertain clients or colleagues: Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure provides an intimate, comfortable gathering place, and the coffee is exceptional. Let’s continue to support our vibrant local economy.
What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Embrace our growing cultural diversity through the arts and small-business development. One of the things I appreciated most when I lived in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles was the fearlessness to try new projects, to be innovative and to collaborate across social boundaries. In my opinion, this quality is integral to Iowa’s success in attracting and keeping young people.
My mentor: I have two: my parents. In every aspect of their work and home lives, they model values of lifelong learning, intellectual curiosity, public service, generosity of time and spirit, compassion toward others, dedication to goals and integrity in all pursuits.
My leadership philosophy: Practice kindness. Listen well. Be flexible. Possess an open mind. Accept personal shortcomings and nurture personal growth.
If I could do something else, I would: I would be a primatologist, library archivist, organic farmer or a globe-hopping photojournalist.
If you want to contact me: E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.