Working the circle to Stand Strong

I have a new job! But first let me talk about where I have been.

It seems like yesterday I was graduating college, and aiming towards becoming a State Park Ranger. But when that didn’t go my way, I had to rethink stuff…as we often do when things don’t go according to plan.

That’s when I found AmerCorps. Two of the greatest years of my life that help me learn about resources and connections in SLO county while working with our community teens.

As a result of my AmeriCorps work came The Rape Crisis Center, which changed to The Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention center , and now RISE. These 6+ years gave me the passion to work towards a world free from sexual assault. And though that goal has not been met by a long shot, the fact remains that we were and are here to help, empower and believe.

Leaving SARP after my second child was born, I did professional massage, and various other jobs and volunteer work.

Then came the opportunity to work with the City of SLO and their Parks and Rec Department. Two years of working with amazing teachers at the before and after school care programs in SLO’s elementary schools.

After this I took a tiny break…more massage, and odd jobs. The I became a Social Media Strategist for three local women-owned companies. These women are amazing and I got to be part of their presence in the world through online sources.

After a brief but engaging moment with SLO County as a case worker I went onto Mindbody. Over 6 years of working for a company that gave me strong technical skills and allowed me to work for a company that treated their staff with complete care as much as they treated their clients. I flourished and learned and was part of many affinity groups allowing me to share and show my support. They gave me volunteer of the year for my work with Wine, women and Shoes which was RISE’s biggest fundraising event. They have me the chance to meet our First Lady, Michele Obama, for which I will eternally be grateful for. Friendships forged from a fantastic team all striving to work hard and give out excellent work. I wanted to retire with them.

Then COVID happened. It was gut wrenching to be laid off and so surreal to see many of my more talented co-workers also let go. It wreaked havoc…on everyone.

But it also allowed me to learn things: to slow down, not take stuff for granted, to listen, to be still, to keep moving, to be confined with the most important people in my life, and know that it was ok to feel so alone, so tired….but then also gain new habits…good ones…with friends. To have awful fights with my girls and my husband that have actually brought us closer with better communication. To learn that we all communicate differently and their wants and needs are different from my own…and that is ok.

I learned that my new mission was figuring out unemployment and LinkedIn and resume building and filling out online applications, making masks, working out with YouTube, Skillshare, Canva, painting, drawing, crafting, helping girls start, teaching and sharing Mehndi (Henna), working on the home and the yard and the sheds.

Then just this past week…all the calls for interviews and testing and assessments came through….and one prevailed!

Almost full circle….as I believe the circle doesn’t really fully close as long as we continue to learn. And I will soon start this new process…..

…as the Development and Communications Coordinator for Stand Strong.

Stand Strong is our local Domestic Violence resource and support center. I will get the chance to take all my past experience in my life an apply to this amazing organization, working with amazing people doing amazing work.

Cheers to new beginnings and working the circle!

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share!

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month…you can bet you will hear more of this from me….everywhere!


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