What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
Political Strategist: I first cut my teeth in politics, working on a political campaign in 2012 working for President Obama's re-election campaign. I was hired as the Regional Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Director in Harrisburg, PA. Since that opportunity, I was so proud of the work I was involved in ...that I began working on various political campaigns and civic policy initiatives as a political strategist.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Trying to engage voters who are apathetic to the process. As well as trying to increase civic engagement and political leadership within the immigrant community.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest moment was starting a non-profit: The African Leadership Project, which focuses on developing civic leaders and political candidates within the African community to run for office and to make an impact by stepping into key leadership roles.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I admire Melody Hobson, Sallie Krawcheck & President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf. I admire them all for using their platform to create lasting change beyond the scope of their roles. Melody Hobson, the Executive Vice President of Ariel Management through her corporate leadership is addressing education policy by championing initiatives that support financial literacy through the development of the Ariel School in Chicago, IL.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
My professional goal is to culminate my political and government affairs experience into a role that allows me to work on national and global impact initiatives within the private sector. That said, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate foundation work is my current area of interest. In ten years and hopefully sooner I would to be seen as a serious thought leader in areas of CSR, Impact investing, & Global Philanthropy. My goal is to become a Senior Executive of Corporate Social Responsibility for a Fortune 500 company. Through this, I want to help develop a company as a leading Corporate Citizen and help cultivate a culture of corporate giving through the engagement of public policy initiatives.
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I've had several mentors; both formal and informal. My formal mentors are currently a critical part of my growth today. Those are trusted and close professionals in my life who through their shared experiences help guide me in making important professional decisions as well as help me craft a blueprint on meeting my professional goals. Informal mentors have been individuals who I've observed do incredible work or were an optimal examples of who I aspire to be that I've tried to emulate. I currently mentor two young professionals who are from the African community, and are civic leaders of future. Through my work with them, I've been able to help them develop civic skills by facilitating opportunities to work on political and issue campaigns. It's been rewarding to see them grow into political professionals who are now working in State and municipal government and bringing African immigrant policy issues of concern to the table.
What do you hope to gain from your CUP Fellows Program experience to help you make a significant and positive impact in your community?
I hope to identify key strategies on how to develop skills in areas of my civic interest, board service, fundraising for causes of importance, and to build a professional network of reciprocity. I want to develop a professional network where I can give of myself and resources to help others as well as leverage those relationships into partnerships to help execute civic initiatives of interest.