Making what you love HOW you love

4 years ago

“Take what you love and make it how you love,” is a phrase oft repeated by some of the folks in my church. As I’ve tried to figure out what the heck I want to do when I grow up, I’m so excited that I’m moving closer and closer to taking what I love and making it how I love (and live).

I have always had an interest in education. When I was a senior in high school, I was elected as the Student Member of the Howard County Board of Education. This was my first foray into educational policy, but it wouldn’t be my last. In law school, I took an Education Law and Policy seminar that opened my eyes to some of the struggles of NCLB, Education Policy and in particular, how you can not examine education in a vacuum. I’ve come to understand that (like most social issues) education policy is an extremely complicated arena and through this understanding came the conviction that I deeply care about these issues.

As I’ve written about before, I’ve been blessed with wonderful educational experiences. I am well aware that not everyone is this fortunate. When I taught constitutional law and oral advocacy to students in Silver Spring, Maryland as a Marshall Brennan Fellow, I fell in love with educating students about their legal rights and about the law in general. I am not exaggerating when I say that was one of the most amazing life experiences I’ve had. It was incredible and led me to seek out my current position at The Washington Center, an educational nonprofit. At TWC, I’ve led a legal externship program for law students from across the country. I’ve had the opportunity to teach an externship seminar as an adjunct professor. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an incredible team of highly dedicated individuals who are devoted to education. It has been incredible and I’ve been so happy at TWC.

Of course, just based on the fact that I’m discussing my experiences at TWC in the past tense, you can see where this is going. I’m in the middle of one of the most difficult break ups of my life. Particularly because no one is at fault. In all honesty, I wasn’t even looking for a new job. However, I met a young woman at a networking event and when she was telling me about what she did, I fell in love. She described a program where law firms partner with Street Law to begin creating a legal pipeline. A program where law firm attorneys teach diverse high school students the Street Law curriculum, as well as exposing them to legal careers. She managed that program, trained the law firm attorneys, kept the curriculum updated and also did some work on diversity in the legal profession. This job was designed for me! I applied on a lark because I simply could not fail to apply to my dream job. And I got it. I will be starting in August and I will be so sad to leave TWC but I am also thrilled. I’m thrilled that leading up to my 30th year, I’ve found my own way to make what I love both how I love and how I make my living.

And so, it was with a heavy heart that I turned in my resignation last week. Of course, I’m giving a ridiculous amount of notice. Which just means that my current coworkers have many months to celebrate getting rid of me :)What about you? Have you all found ways to “make what you love, how you love?” I sure hope so!

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