I turned 30 in March!
I love birthdays, they remind me of how loved I am by friends both old and new.
My birthday was also a good chance to reflect on life in general and I got to say, it’s pretty great. I’m doing what I love, making a positive impact in the world, and spending 100% of my time with people I believe in who also believe in me. What I need to add to this mix is getting back to financially sustainable. I’ve worked full-time on #NYCEDU over the past year and a half without being paid, and it’s now time to move fundraising to the top of #NYCEDU’s strategic priorities. More on this in a bit.
A look back on the things I’m most proud of and the people I have to thank for these accomplishments
I presented at SXSW EDU on Growing an Engaged Education Innovation Community with Jessica Falkenthal and John Blado. I thank Jess for leading this project and John for keeping us grounded!
I co-hosted Frontier 2018, NYC’s first city-wide and educator-focused collective impact forum, with Nasrin Jafari. 97% of participants said that they’d recommend Frontier to their friends, and many of them already asked, “So when is the next one?” There’s definitely an appetite for collective impact. I also could not have been working with a more inspirational co-organizer in Nasrin. She is relentless in her attention to details while being centered in the big picture and brings her whole self to this work while creating space for others to bring their whole selves, too.
I hit 1000 vocabulary words learned in Spanish! I’ve been wanting to learn Spanish for a decade, and to have actually made such incredible progress in it has been incredible. I can interact with my neighbors in Spanish, and used it on a trip to Costa Rica with my partner in crime, Mike Boyle.
I’ve also learned a lot in other profound ways
I need to do more identity work. I need to better understand how my identity as an Asian American woman who grew up in a limited-income household impacts the way I approach the world, the way the world perceives me, and how I can best interact with people in authentic, loving ways. It’s so freaking hard — I’ve cried, I’ve been anxious about hurting others, I’ve been anxious about being hurt. If you have any reflections on your own identity work, I’d love to hear and learn from your stories.
I need to be fundraising, and I will start fundraising by making the ask of individuals and in collaboration with #NYCEDU’s partners. I find that I have hesitancy around asking for #NYCEDU itself (though I’m going to get over that, too, because goddammit, investing financially in this effort to fundamentally transform the way we approach education reform is not a supplication, it’s investing in a chance to change the world), but am absolutely enthused about asking on behalf of the partners #NYCEDU serves. On that note, I encourage you to decide now, how much you’re pledging to support student-led school integration.
Do you pledge to be a
- Little Rock 9 Supporter – $6,400,
- Sylvia Mendez Supporter – $1,640,
- Mamie Tape Supporter – $640,
- Autherine Lucy Supporter – $164,
- Ruby Bridges Supporter – $64, or a
- Supporter – $__
What’s more? 5% of your donation goes to support #NYCEDU, so I ask you to believe in me, and in the student leaders I’m supporting, with a financial investment.
And finally, I need to be getting back to the basics of community building — high-touch, in-person work where people come together to make friends, not connections. Our next general event at #NYCEDU is a Potluck Picnic Party. You’re all invited and please, pass on the invitation to others.
Now that you’ve heard from me, let me hear from you! How are you doing? What’s on your mind? How can I be a support? I invite you to let me know.