It’s been a little while since my last posting, but things have been busier, but good. I wanted to give a quick update of the latest happenings.
We had a recent fundraising campaign for The 21st Century Youth Project, our initiative to teach students transferable skills. We raised almost $3,000 from over 40 sources. We used Indiegogo for our fundraising campaign, because of the flexibility, but more importantly, if we didn’t reach our goal, we still received a majority of the funding. It was really important to raise the money in the most responsible way, because the funds would be used in our upcoming programs. We thought about doing a gala or fundraising event, but in many cases, you have to commit capital to pull it off. In this economic climate, that strategy seemed risky, considering how a $20 donation isn’t as easy to come by as before. I’ve been a part of many organizations where we committed a significant amount of capital and had a net loss from the event. Believe me, nothing is worse than raising $23,000 but it cost $26,000 to throw the event.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be debuting The Chicago Film Group, a sister program to the 21st Century Youth Project. The goal of the program is to teach middle and high school students filmmaking, from the pre-production to post-production. We’re really excited about this project and their final projects will be shown on local access television in Chicago.
I was proud and honored to receive the Chicago Ideas Week, Ideas Fellowship award. From the website, “CIW Fellows are the leaders and change agents of the world tomorrow, who are making a huge impact on their local and regional communities today.”
Additionally, Annesa Lacey wrote a very flattering article on some of my latest entrepreneurial endeavors. Hopefully the takeaway from this piece is that although I have done some noteworthy things, there is a long way to go before I accomplish my goals. One thing I always preach is that everyone should take a hard look at themselves and realize that hard work is the only way to do anything special. It’s not about degrees, quality of schools, etc. Sure, some of them open doors, but an extraordinary amount of determination and discipline is what separates the dreamers from the successful.
Several more updates to come in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to updating you on my progress.