My journey to finding purpose has not been what I thought it would be. After a life changing event that left me broken, a bit lost, and somewhat professionally immobile, I had to find work to support myself. I stayed somewhat in the field I was leaving, but also tried to find what was next for me. I went from one job to two part time jobs in 2015. During this time of discovery, I saw a need that I thought I could help be a resource for.
It took me several months before I could grasp the concept of this discovery. I didn’t know how I could be a resource. However, in the summer of 2015, I felt the need to listen and step out on faith. I approached a random woman and asked her about this idea I had and would she be interested in joining us to learn about the hair that was on her granddaughters head? After her explosive “YES!”, I got to work.
Fast forward to April 2016, I found, what turned out to be the job I needed for my next steps in purpose! I could finally stop working two part time jobs and be an “Adult”, so I thought.
At this job, I couldn’t wait to work with the older adult population as a program coordinator at a senior center. Little did I know, how much I needed that job. Since that 2015 summer encounter with the woman, I had started holding events for black girls and their families to help “educate, empower, and encourage them [black girls] to be their best self." With the help of my friends, Curly Me! started because Utah needed a resource for this population. I barely knew where to start, but fortunately, my “day job” (what I call my paid, benefit filled job) was teaching me some of the ways of organizing events and activities for my developing organization.
Fast forward yet again to 2018, I had finally built the knowledge, connections, and confidence to apply for Curly Me! to be an official non-profit organization. During the same year, I started working a second job, one more time. During 2018-2019, I realized I was working 2 jobs and successfully growing a 501c3. I was young, free, and felt like I was finally operating in my God-given purpose. From 2017-2019, I livedddddd life! Now in 2021, I am blessed to have a job working the with the young adult population and running the always growing Curly Me!.
Looking back on those times of working two jobs I learned a couple of things I want to share:
1. When you see an issue or problem and you feel you have a solution to it, talk about it! Sometimes going to mixers, community events, or just hanging out with friends, you can get a whole mission or vision statement for your developing business, organization, or next adventure in life. Talk it out until it makes sense.
2. Use what you are paid to do to help fuel what you are purposed to do. I was able to learn how to apply for local grants and sponsorships because of my “Day job”. I enrolled in leadership development opportunities where I could transfer skills to help propel the organization and me as a leader.
3. Vision becomes reality when you believe in yourself and what you were purposed to do. It all starts with your “yes, I’ll try it”.
Curly Me! is a 501(c)3) resource for families with child of color, specifically black girls between the ages of 5-14 years. We hold quarterly events and mentoring opportunities to help educate, empower and encourage girls to be their best selves.
Learn more about Curly Me! and Alyssha's story, click here.