Leading in Youth Development

I’ve taken great pride in working with individuals whom I consider family. Individuals who have been with me since the idea of Gem formulated as an eager and willing college student at Rutgers University.

Through it, we’ve had the responsibility of passing it forward. Through organizations like Bonner, we’ve had the opportunity to work with exceptional young people to help build capacity as a Newark-based organization that depends on project management software and the cloud to connect with our team.

Working with Bonner, the first year, was incredible. This past year, has had its challenges–largely due to my own decisions and new opportunities that I am so grateful for.  Every choice I made in life has been driven from this incontrollable desire to learn, grow and see others live out the best version of themselves.

When it starts to feel like everyone is convinced you’re doing someone right all the time, it’s time to shake things up. It’s time to leap out like a fish without water and land in places you have no map or compass. It’s time to learn. When you learn, you grow. When you grow, great things happen!

I have led a colorful life  filled with hills, valleys and more than a couple bumps on the road. I’ve shifted life gears to learn more about myself, those around me and the people I want to serve. In most cases, it came with tuning the world out: getting rid of the chatter and listening to my thoughts in its purest form.

At the root, all that I do is centered around youth development. What I want to remembered for when my time has run out is for people development–the whole person–holistic growth. In my most recent role, I serve as a program director at a community-based organization that serves over 50,000 New Yorkers every year. In my division, I have a very hands-on managerial role operating a Boys & Girls clubhouse in the Lower East Side.

To say it has taken me outside of my comfort zone, is an understatement. Learning the ins and outs of a new organization, people, and community has been refreshing. It has opened my eyes wider in a way that encourages a curiosity within that urges me to do something new. Something different.

While I learn a new angle of lessons, I am left with the evolution of Gem. I am left with a wider view of seeing things.  In both roles, I am fed equally with my passion in seeing out a commitment to improve young people as they’re–meeting on common ground.



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