Posted by AfroElle On 9:12 AM
Amanda Ebokosia is the founder and CEO of The Gem Project, Inc. The Gem Project is a nonprofit organization that educates school-age children, youth, and young adults about issues that are affecting them and their communities. Through the use of the organization's innovative programs, the Gem Project is able to hone the skills of leadership and community organizing skills of our youth.
What does your work entail?
My work involves the management of the entire company. I am responsible of delegating duties of all projects, creating partnerships, interviewing volunteers, overseeing nine divisions and programs for youth and young adults, and fulfilling monthly and yearly goals. I am also responsible for creating an amicable environment for volunteers, while nurturing and cultivating the relationships we have with our supporters.
Are you living your dream?
Yes, I am blessed to have the experiences that my line of work entails. I have a great team and we have witnessed so many wonderful things by just helping others. It has truly been this continuous ride of lessons, hope, and practice of humility. There are many moments where I feel like I am living my dream, but it became most apparent on April 27, 2011.
I was with a Gem Project member one afternoon and we had just finished one of our programs for the youth called, The Gem Project Interactive Literacy Program. We interviewed casually two sisters about the current program and the last one before it, which occurred 3 weeks ago. The responses they both gave made us feel equally appreciated. At this very moment we felt for than connected, we felt needed within our society.
We were actually trying to interview them as another form of knowledge assessment to see how much they remembered from our last event. When I think of the Gem Project, I think of the moments where I met Christina Lugo, a mother who gave a speech about life raising an autistic son at a Gem Project autism awareness luncheon 3 years ago. I often think of marching with Bashirah Brown, a breast cancer survivor at age 24 in 2007, at a Gem Project College Campus march. I also have memories of her when we filmed our first Gem Project documentary called, " The Gem Project and Young People for Change." She spoke highly of the Gem Project. She was one of the many persons who we had welcomed into our lives in pursuit of positive change within our community.
What's your definition of success and how has your journey been like to where you're now?
Success is the moment you feel when the world is acting in your favor and everything just seems to be in alignment. All the failures you have encountered, suddenly feel like stepping stones to your ultimate goal--your vision. Success and failure are like a union of marriage, you cannot mention one without the other. One valuable lesson I learned was that building a great team does not happen overnight, you have to be patient.
Any words of advice or role models that have inspired you or changed your life?
Be focused, good things will come if you remain focused on your path.
What advice would you give women so that they can go out of their comfort zones and start making moves in their lives and society?
My advice is to go out and develop a support system or network of women who share similar goals as you. Build your contacts from networking events, social media, or join groups and associations. The road to success may be tough but it does not have to be traveled alone.
You can learn more about the GEM project via their
Meet-up (empowerment site for women)