Recent Leadership Los Angeles (LLA) graduate Jen caught our attention when we saw her LinkedIn post: “In the last three days I have conducted one training, made seven presentations, moderated one panel, had a session with one of my students and had several meetings. It has been extremely rewarding, and I can’t describe how thankful I am to do what I love.” We were so impressed, we had to ask her what else she’s been up to this past year, how LLA has helped her career and what advice she has for other SCLN fellows and alumni.
“The last year has been AMAZING! My participation in LLA ’19 helped me to develop new relationships with some of the greatest leaders in L.A. County. They were an inspiration and encouraged me to increase my impact. Last year, I created a nonprofit called Connected to Lead, whose mission is to create space for people of all ages to make meaningful connections while strengthening the leader within them.
I coordinated a pilot program for young professionals and had the support of Gabriele Almon, who lead a workshop on storytelling and is also an LLA ’19 alumni. The impact was beyond what I could have imagined, and I am excited to expand the programming this year.
Additionally, along with my friend and coworker, Annay Picazo, I was selected to present in Dublin, Ireland, in March 2020 to educate participants on ways to inform policy efforts related to underage drinking and how they can engage different sectors of their community. I have been labeled an expert on vaping and regularly conduct presentations and facilitate panels on the topic.
If I don’t do anything else … I look to inspire, encourage and motivate. I look to connect people to resources and make a difference, even if I only touch the life of one person. Lastly, to anyone questioning your impact, I want you to know: YOU MATTER! Yes, YOU! You are valued and your input is necessary. Your leadership is important and the world needs all that you have to offer. DON’T GIVE UP!”