During Jezuba's GenZ Career Series webinar, as we were discussing the difference between soft and hard skills, Rebecca, co-founder and director of Jezuba, brought up that I have developed an exemplary set of soft skills through my time at Jezuba. Though slightly embarrassed by being thrown into the spotlight, I was taken aback by her honesty. Had it not been for Rebecca’s comment, I would have never noticed this growth. Her words stuck with me as I reflected on my journey.
I started working for Jezuba during my sophomore year of college. At that time, I was clueless as to what I wanted to do career wise. Eager to learn but with nowhere to start, Van, my leadership coach from Braven, introduced me to Rebecca. From there, I joined Jezuba as the very first intern. Starting as a content strategist, to becoming the co-chief of staff and now the operations manager, I was able to experience all the ups and downs of a newly launched business and nonprofit organization. I have been so proud to see Jezuba's growth as we added more interns, took on new projects, and engaged in a large audience but I never realized that with Jezuba's growth, came my own.
My reliability has always served as a foundation for me, but I now know that I am also capable of taking on new challenges and learning new things. Engaging with passionate professionals, expressing my thoughts to a larger audience, organizing meaningful events, and connecting people around the world to make our team- all of these opportunities were only possible because Jezuba encouraged me to challenge myself.
Jezuba's goal will always be to empower youths to make an impact. Now, as a recent graduate and official staff member of Jezuba, I truly understand this simple but powerful mission statement. I’ll forever be thankful to have received this chance to get started on my journey and will work to pay it forward.
I hope this also serves as a gentle reminder to everyone getting started on their journey that hard work will never go unnoticed. Be kind, be forgiving, but most importantly believe in yourself.
Credit Lauren Young - Jeju Island, South Korea.
During this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. day on the 18th, many of us will be grateful for the three-day weekend as a time to recharge. Beyond just relaxation, however, I call on us to spend this holiday reflecting on King’s work for civil rights and justice, especially in the wake of the events over the last year showing the need for us all to continue his work.
A quote of King’s that resonated with me is “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.” For many problems in the world, this issue isn’t the existence of resources or technologies to solve it; the main hurdle is the cooperation and teamwork that is necessary to get these resources to those people who need it the most.
I find that this quote especially applies to the world today, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The vaccine for the pandemic was created in record time, thanks to the many efforts of the scientists and researchers in charge, but the question mark of transportation and logistics for vaccination still remains. As of Sunday January 10th, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the state had received almost 2.5 million doses of the vaccines, and that 783,476 had been administered. Clearly, in a time of record Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations, this vaccination rate is not acceptable. To honor the sentiment in King’s quote, state and county leadership and health departments must make it their first priority to assemble the right resources in the right places to get all available vaccines into people’s arms. And in order to make sure that everyone gets the vaccine safely, equitably and effectively, we need to show love, care and cooperation with one another as we help others to get their shots and wait our turn.
Here at Jezuba, our hope is that we can continue to inspire and empower the next generation and each generation to come. In the present moment, that starts with making sure we are all protected from the pandemic that has sickened and killed too many people around the world. I hope that on this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. day, we can all learn about how we can cooperate and work together in service to solve society’s most pressing problems, one step at a time.
We are listening. We are learning. We are finding ways to be actively anti-racist. And we are also unlearning.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
The essence of entrepreneurship is taking a new approach to an age-old problem. It requires us to reassess continually the problem at hand, collaborate to speed up our learning, and pivot as needed to get to the right solution in a timely manner.
I discovered Adam Grant’s book Give and Take, after I was backstabbed by a friend. For him, our decade-long friendship was worthless compared to the “success” he achieved through backstabbing me for my job. Because I enjoyed giving and helping others, I was an easy target when faced with a “taker” such as my ex-friend. From that painful experience, I knew I needed protection against exploitation and burnout, common risks for being a giver. I needed to arm myself with Adam Grant’s data-driven ways to win as a giver.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending an alumnae event at Wellesley College, my alma mater. It was a weekend packed with inspirational speeches, mind blowing facts, and tactical tips. The college staff and professors challenged us with the ideas of inclusion and diversity. To top all off, we had the privilege of hearing Madeleine Albright speak twice! Needless to say, I was glowing with inspiration and new ideas by the end of the weekend. Yet, I couldn’t help but reflect on what I’ve done with my education; admittedly there was an inkling of “do I measure up to Wellesley’s mission?” that ran through my mind.
I had the fortune of visiting the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden this past November. To my pleasant surprise, a good third of the museum was devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to his leadership on the civil rights movement, he also strongly advocated for the poor.