Introducing myself and my journal

maisypage
Posted January 22, 2014 from United States

My Passions: Girls' education

From my Lean In story: I have always had the unique combination of unshakable self-confidence combined with paralyzing uncertainty. I was raised to believe that I could do anything that I set my mind to. I had so many ideas of what I could be: from a veterinarian to a lawyer (and then my secret dream of becoming a weather channel meteorologist). I had no idea how to narrow down those dreams.

In August of 2004, I started my undergraduate degree at Florida State University. College was not as easy as I expected it to be. It was not the intensity of the work that challenged me; it was finding a balance between my outside activities and my classroom work.

I distinctly remember the moment I found out that I had received a “D” in my math class. Something had to change. I knew I couldn’t continue to spend time on something I dearly loved: tutoring elementary school children in a local low-income area of Tallahassee. The intensity of the heartbreak I felt made me realize how much I truly loved the feeling of giving back, especially through the gift of helping a child learn.

Two years after graduation, I decided to go back to school to get a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). I wanted to focus on non-profit management but had no idea what exactly I wanted to focus on.

One tweet changed my life.

I had been searching every corner of the Internet for inspiration. Then I had a moment when I just knew I’d found it. I stumbled upon a website called She’s the First, an organization devoted to educating girls in developing countries. I read through the entire site; the organization stirred something in my soul.

I knew the woman I wanted to become. I had to Lean In. I had to go for it. Letting it go felt almost criminal. I sent a tweet to the founder of She’s the First, and assumed it just went out into cyberspace. However, the stars aligned and I became one of the organization’s first interns.

My uncertainty slowly disappeared and I was left was unshakable self-confidence. I had found my voice and my passion. I went on to become a member of the organization’s research team and founded a campus chapter at FGCU. Last year, I completed my Master’s degree and got a job at the PACE Center for Girls in Jacksonville, Florida. I work as a social services counselor and every day I have the opportunity to change lives. I help teenage girls – who have already lived through very challenging circumstances – to reach for their dreams.

Because of She’s the First, I found my voice and now I get to help incredible young women find theirs. I help them lean in.

Comments 5

Log in or register to post comments
  • Susan K.A.
    Jan 22, 2014
    Jan 22, 2014

    Dear Maisypage,

    I want to welcome you to World Pulse! This is a unique and exciting platform to network with other women around the world and to find common ground on the issues that matter most to you. You'll meet countless others in this online community who share your passion for educating girls and are actively finding solutions to do just that in their own communities.

    I hope that what you read here and that the connections you make add spark to your passion and sense of purpose. Feel free to continue filling out your user profile, contribute to your online journal, and comment on others' posts that inspire you. I think you'll find that World Pulse is a sisterhood. We all look out for each other. Here's a useful link to help get you started networking right away: http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/about/guide

    Thanks for joining and I hope to read your posts in the future!

    Best wishes, Susan

  • Susan K.A.
    Jan 23, 2014
    Jan 23, 2014

    Thanks for giving us your story. It's very inspiring to learn how you came to find your life's purpose and passion. Best wishes to you!

  • maisypage
    Jan 24, 2014
    Jan 24, 2014

    Thanks Susan! I'm looking forward to hearing many others!

  • BUHENDWA NEEMA
    Jan 23, 2014
    Jan 23, 2014

    juste vous souhaité la bienvenue sur cette communauté, nous serons heureuse de partager avec vous nos penses,sur world pulse merci et à bientôt

  • Fatima Waziri - Azi
    Feb 05, 2014
    Feb 05, 2014

    Hey there! Welcome to Worldpulse community!

    It’s so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fabulous time with your new online friends as well as find this to be a very positive experience. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

    Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you.