This is an incredible post to write. We’re still in the foundational stages of launching this new venture, but I still feel like it’s time to Celebrate!
Since our last newsletter a massive wave of progress has crashed all around us – and for those of you who know me, you know I love the intensity of the Ocean. ; )
In bullet point style, here’s the heart of all that has happened:
Website Designer Confirmed
Don Burk, now an independent contractor, managed 30-40 web designers in Boston for many years. General Electric, Kraft, and the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce are all current clients of his. We met at Wholefoods. We bonded. Now he’s on board and has offered to design Journal To Save Your Life for $50/hour instead of his usual $150/hour rate. We’ll be fundraising in the Fall to make this happen!
Introductory Video on J2SYL
Three Austin film makers, Jordan Torres, Chelsea Hernandez, and Matt Hannon, are working with me, Jasper Faolan, to create promotional videos for the female youth we will connect with. The videos will also be used to communicate our mission to other organizations, grant boards, and potential collaborators. Filming will be complete by July 31st, 2011, and then editing will begin!
Grant Office Angel
I very innocently went into a grant application office – a place with free grant application advisers live to support burgeoning nonprofits and programs – and I met a Journal To Save Your Life Angel. I know this sounds facetious, but after my meeting with Alison, I actually broke down and cried. I am so grateful for her.
Alison read and printed every piece of online information about J2SYL, made comments on all of it, tutored me through what is required in grant applications, printed a series of lists of foundations and companies that would/will support J2SYL (literally hundreds – I have my work cut out for me!), told me how I was going to take J2SYL to all Texas school districts during their yearly teachers’ orientation weeks, how I was to lay out my budget, and…. It was incredible! She was also a board member of the Hogg Mental Health Foundation, and so we’re definitely going to apply for financial support from them.
She’s an Angel.
Building a Brand
Mitch Antony, a long time mentor, friend, and Fortune 100 brand consultant, is now helping us build a company ‘identity’. Fascinating process — since it’s building an identity for a company I Love SO much. ; ) Also, two incredibly generous folks have offered their time and energy to producing a professional logo for J2SYL – Justin Kyle and Alison Auwerda! They are both super professional and available, which I adore.
While in upstate New York this last week I met one of the funkiest journalists ever, Alison Sher. She has a history of writing about celebrity chefs and restaurants, but she prefers to cover social justice stories and profile service projects like Journal To Save Your Life. She is now writing a piece about J2SYL to pitch to Bitch Magazine, and we have plans to submit the story to similar magazines nationwide. The articles will focus on inviting involvement from female youth empowerment organizations and role models.
Spoken Word Prompt Provider
Aja Monet is a 23 yr old spoken word poet from Brooklyn. She can shatter social boundaries with her voice. She was first recognized for her art at 16 when she was asked to perform a poem about social justice for a United Nations youth conference. Since this time, she has performed prolifically in NYC, become a writing workshop facilitator, and attained a Masters in Creative Writing. Through poems and videos she will offer poem based prompts on the issues that J2SYL addresses for young women, and she will be our primary spoken word ‘tutor’ by helping the girls EXPRESS through spoken word.
Women and Power Conference in NY
More to come! 😉