If you know me personally you know that the best way to describe me is probably by calling me an over achiever. In my undergraduate career at FIU I spent an entire year holding down 7 executive board positions for my fraternity and other organizations, while attending school full-time, having a part-time job, and a typical Miami frat boy social life. Let’s face it, I don’t like free time, in fact it makes me fidget until I drive myself insane. After graduating from my undergraduate I went into an accelerated MBA program for 1 year, 6 days a week. I did this while working full-time and still maintaining active in organizations within my university and the community. Imagine my despair December 14th 2013 when I walked across the stage at my MBA graduation, was mid transition into a new job, and had to leave behind the empire I built while attending college. Time to step into the Real World… Las Vegas maybe? I mean I had already left my kegger days behind and the social frat scene wasn’t a place I would be caught dead anymore but what was I going to do now to keep my time occupied?
December and January were great for sleep. Winter hit, and just like the bears in Canada’s wilderness, I also hibernated. I don’t think I had realized how little sleep I had gotten the past couple of years. Between waking up 5:30am to go to the gym and studying almost every day well past 1am, I do not know how I functioned. The only thing keeping me alive was McDonalds Sweet Ice Tea, probably from the pounds of sugar they pour into it. I took some time to catch up with my social life, I do after all live in the middle of Downtown Miami Brickell. It wasn’t until mid-February that I noticed that I was going out almost every other night and sleeping more than I had ever slept in my life before, I did not like it. I was getting nothing meaningful accomplished except attending expensive happy hours and networking with drinking friends who are only there when the glass is full (not even half full). I realized that what made my life so wonderful before was all the different activities I was a part of, especially to help the community, so I vowed to find a way to make my life more than just work and play.
After careful consideration, and an internal dream to one day be a well-known philanthropist, I decided to pick up a cause where I had extensive knowledge and the ability to aid a community that was near and dear to my heart. I reached out to the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce regarding their Scholarship program for LGBT Youth in South Florida. After reviewing the website I realized not much had been done with the scholarship, and education is something I am very passionate about. Within two weeks I had dived head first into meetings with the chamber, making a new proposal for the program, beginning to establish a committee, and working out a way to get funding for the scholarship pool which had diminished over the past 4 years. I was networking with people I would have never had an opportunity to meet, with diverse private company backgrounds I would have never imagined they had. I guess it’s always interesting to learn why someone who was successful in the private corporate world would want to leave it all behind to work in non-profit.
How much time am I spending on this project? The answer is A LOT.
Do I think most people my age would get their hands dirty with a project of this nature? No.
Most of my Saturdays and Sundays are now full of work for this project. My actual job can be very demanding so I spend late nights working on briefs and letters to the community for this scholarship.
Is it worth it? Yes.
This scholarship will eventually be able to be self-sustainable, meaning it will eventually be able to run itself once it has been established. If it takes a little bit of blood, sweat, and tears for me to build a strong brick foundation that won’t crumble 5 years from now, I see it as a task worth taking on. Not to mention, I have 2 resumes. I have my typical business resume, but I also have a philanthropy resume which extends back all the way to 2007. Everything from spending 2 weeks working with disabled youth in Indianapolis, working out of community kitchens and delivering food to HIV positive victims throughout Boston, and volunteering out of Miami Children’s Hospital as one of their Children’s Miracle Network volunteers.
Why am I spending all this time working on a second resume strictly based on my Philanthropic efforts? Simple. I need balance in my life.
Philanthropy is an amazing talking point. I have spoken about the work I do in job interviews, public speeches, and used it to my advantage when networking with some top company executives. It shows I have drive and passion, not just in my work (my resume is pretty great for a 24 year old) but also in my other endeavors in life. I hope to continue on my path to an executive level position within a company, however I hope to be able to also hold an executive position for a non-profit one day as a volunteer. Giving them my constant insight and experience throughout all of the philanthropic causes I have worked with in my lifetime.