A Philanthropic Journey: Purpose Greater Than Myself
I never thought I would find myself pursuing a career in nonprofit, or as I sit today, in academia. I was on the fast track, climbing my way up the corporate ladder. It was a steady process, but progress was being made. Then life happened; in 2009 my mother, two uncles and two aunts received those three dreadful words that no family ever wants to hear, “You have cancer.” I was struck week after week, receiving the news that my family was impacted by a scourge we did not expect or understand. I’m from a tight-knit family of 10 aunts and uncles who produced more than 60 cousins, and it seems like cancer was becoming a dark and dreaded specter.
My mother is a cancer survivor. Sadly, we lost my uncles and aunts. Returning home after my fourth funeral in eight months, I decided that I needed to do more. I logged into the American Cancer Society for answers—little did I know, it was the turning point of my career. I felt compelled to do something more, and opportunity presented itself. I was determined to fight cancer in the trenches.
Cancer messed with the wrong family.
Now, six years later, having lost another aunt and a cousin along the way, I am all in—but my mission is much greater than one disease or cause. My nonprofit work, in connection with the fight against cancer, awakened in me a spirit of service. Philanthropy has become not what I do, but who I am. Over the next several weeks and months, I hope to share with readers what I learned about philanthropy, help nonprofits maximize their potential for success and create a meaningful dialogue in pursuit of service.
Please join me, share your comments and feedback. I look forward to this journey.