I grew up poor. My brother used to joke that we were as poor as church rats or even poorer. The crime of our poverty did not dawn on me until I started reaching out for opportunities and daring to dream just a little more.
We could not afford most things. So I took advantage of free services, education and tools. If I wanted to read? I’d go to a library, wanted to learn a new skill? I’d attend a community event. It didn’t matter the subject, I like knowledge and opportunities to acquire it.
Even when I started making some sort of money, it was always a battle between eating, having basic needs met and paying for some perceived grand service. When you are starving you cannot learn.
These experiences shaped me. But at every point of my growth and career, when it seems that nothing could possibly make any sense, I have been fortunate to have a community to plug back into, and that has served as a succour for me.
Which is why community and preserving communities is important to me. Community is a collective that could mean giving one person or several persons another day to try again.
When I think about the world I’d like to live in and the professional path I’d like to take, two things are constant: I want to create a community and I want it to be accessible.
I have had a difficult life, but in that difficulty, beautiful things have come through. Some of those beauties are in form of the freedom of depth and breadth to create and bring ideas that can take on a life of its own.