“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but most of all the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
It is still sinking in that I am halfway done with the NFS fellowship. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in the Fellows living room completely overwhelmed while all of the staff came in to share what they did and what we would be doing over the next 6 months. Before I know it I am working on donor relations, operations, social ventures, the student abolitionist movement, and our social enterprise…maybe I am in over my head?
Before moving to California, I had no intention of falling in love with this organization. I figured it would be good experience, but most of the non-profits I have interacted with before have lots of great ideas with little to no execution. People are passionate, but not always productive. I am someone who values productivity (perhaps too much at times) and I believe an idea is only as good as its execution. Not For Sale has managed to exceed my expectations in so many ways- I am constantly amazed. I am grateful to be surrounded by people who are passionate, talented, humble, supportive, and knowledgeable. People who truly believe that we can end slavery in our lifetime, and are working hard to make that happen.
I began with no experience working with a non-profit and very little knowledge about ending human trafficking. A few weeks into the fellowship, Sam and I went to speak at a high school in San Jose. An abolitionist club asked us to come in and talk about Not For Sale and how they can get involved. We were able to answer their questions, but I felt like I was just getting by, only able to scratch the surface with my answers. Last week I spoke to a human trafficking class at San Jose State University. All of the students had prior knowledge in slavery and wanted to know specifically what Not For Sale was doing. After my 15 minute presentation, I spent the next 45 minutes answering their in-depth questions. There were still answers I didn’t know, and I was honest with them in my knowledge. It hadn’t occurred to me that I have been gaining so much knowledge over the last few months, and it was exciting to have answers and solutions to their questions. I have learned more than I often realize.
I am not sure that I would have called myself an abolitionist when this fellowship first started. The last 3 months of my life have been full of trials, successes, trainings, and much joy. I can only imagine what the next 3 months have in store.