Reflecting on the Past and Looking Forward

There’s only 2 months left in the Not For Sale Fellowship. Time has flown by. Despite the end of the fellowship quickly approaching, things are by no means slowing down – which is great! As Not For Sale’s momentum continues to grow, we (fellows) are given more and more work, more opportunities to prove our aptitude, and more chances to truly show our ambition and test our potential. We’re also given more responsibility, which says a lot about Not For Sale and the Fellowship Program.

Not For Sale is at the front-lines of the movement to combat human trafficking and they put a great deal of trust in us fellows. We’re not confined to a certain area, nor given menial projects to ensure we don’t screw up. Rather, we are tested daily (ensuring constant individual growth) to find out where our limits are  – and we are encouraged, challenged, and pushed to explode past the boundaries.

In the end, the Not For Sale Fellowship has given me confidence. I’ve gained confidence in my abilities, my value, and what I have to offer. I know now that I can complete whatever task is put in front of me. While the fear of failure may forever linger in the background, it is no longer a paralyzing force, but rather a sentiment I can use to motivate myself. I don’t know where I’ll be after this fellowship, but now when I look at job postings I don’t think, “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do this job to the proper standards”. Instead I think, “Sure, I can do this. Here’s what I’d do… I would change/improve things by… I can offer…” That fear has been replaced by confidence and it’s liberating.

The Not For Sale Fellowship has also provided me with clear direction. When I first applied to the Fellowship all I knew was that I felt like I had a purpose in combating human trafficking and working to end modern-day slavery, but I didn’t know what my exact role would be. I thought the Fellowship would be a good chance to find out where I fit into the movement, where I could offer the most, and it has. Of course, it’s still too early to say where I’ll be 20 years from now, but I’m much further along that road now than I was before. The NFS Fellowship has also reinforced my desire to work in the movement to end modern-day slavery. I’ve seen the good that has been done, but I’ve also seen how much more work there is to be done. (Check out the NFS 2011 Impact Report to see the results of our smart actions!) In my future job search, it’s no longer just about what I can offer an organization. It’s also about finding an environment where my skills and passion meet with an uncompromising purpose that is determined not by politics or ideology, but by the unfiltered needs of those vulnerable to human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

I won’t be satisfied unless I am able to devote myself to creating change in the movement and truly living as a smart activist.

I’ve been challenged, critiqued, and entrusted with a great deal of responsibility. I’ve fallen, but I always get back up, stronger and more driven. I’m a smart activist, and I’m ready to lead.

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