What’s your background?
“I am a senior at Temple University studying International Business. Prior to Temple University, I am a Philadelphia native from the West Oak Lane section of the city. I currently work for Comcast and I am a university relations intern where I work with the talent solutions team where we recruit interns and MBA students. Prior to those positions, I interned with Comcast this past summer where I worked with the Xfinity Mobile Team. In the summer of 2016, I worked the Rio Olympics for NBC Universal. I was granted the opportunity to work the Olympics because I have worked in the sports industry for about seven years. At the age of 14, I watched the Super Bowl and knew that I was going to be a marketing executive for the NFL. I worked very hard within that industry and was given the opportunity to work alongside NFL players, NBA players, and was very well connected. Working in the sports industry was awesome, but after all of the turmoil and witnessing the current state of the NFL, I left that industry because I no longer felt comfortable with it.”
Can you explain 100 Other Halves?
“100 Other Halves is a dialogue between 100 women and myself. It is a one-on-one conversation discussing their relationships with their fathers and the impact that it has had on them. This dialogue is for girls who have had either a positive, negative, or non-existing relationship with their fathers. I added the nonexistent criteria because unfortunately, some girls have lost their fathers either before they were born or even at a young age so I wanted to make sure that they had a place in the project. Basically, 100 Other Halves is a dialogue for women to share their stories with me to ignite healing, realization, and understanding of themselves.”
What exactly is the mission of The Butterfly Collection within your 100 Other Halves project? Also, what has been the feedback from some of the butterfly collection letters?
“The mission of The Butterfly Collection has evolved over time. When I first started this project, the goal was to just have girls talk amongst my peers, but then as people learned more about the project the reactions of women that I have interviewed with have said that they want to hear other girl’s stories which led to the anonymous Butterfly Collection letters. The collection came about because the symbol for 100 Other Halves is the butterfly. The slogan is “your story is your power”. The purple butterfly is also very significant because my mother has lupus which is the staple symbol for the inflammatory disease. When people have lupus, they get a butterfly-shaped patch on their face. I have been getting two different kinds of feedback from the collection. The feedback of the women who have been writing the letters has been emotional. Some of these women tell me that they can’t do it and over time that they start to write their letters and start to cry and I tell them to not start it yet and do it at your own personal pace. I also relay to the women that this is your start to your own healing process. When they do finally finish their letters, I always ask them how did they fell and they usually respond that they feel so free as if a weight was lifted off of their shoulders. For the people who read these anonymous letters, their responses are that they did not think that some of these women were going through these things and that these women are hella mature and powerful!”
What Inspired you to start 100 Other Halves?
“Well growing up I did not have my father in my life, but my best friends did not have their fathers present either. That molded us into very hard working and intelligent girls which led us to work for the department of behavioral health at the ages of 13 years old. At that time, we didn’t think that it was anything wrong with not having a dad. My social circle of friends all grew up seeing our moms hustle and that led us to work harder, but we did not realize that we were lacking the masculine missing link in our families. When I studied abroad in Andalusia, Spain for 11 days, I lived with a mother, father, and daughter. From the moment when I met my host sister, she literally talked about her dad the entire walk prior to me meeting my host mom and dad. So for the first time, I finally saw a complete family in my life at the age of 17 years old. A few months after getting back home from Spain, I went off to college where all of my new friends had dads present in their lives and it blew my mind. After this realization, I started to research how this was affecting me. After my discoveries, I decided that I wanted to share this with other girls. I thought about the project 100 Other Halves because I wanted to speak to 100 women.”
What has been the hardest part about your journey in building 100 Other Halves?
“So I made a rule that I would not reach out to women unless they were my friends and needed to have a talk based on my observation. I made that rule because this is a healing process and you do not want to force someone into a conversation that they are not ready for. These dialogues spark wounds that individuals probably never knew existed and I don’t want to open something up that is not ready to be opened. The hardest part of this process was when I would meet up with these women, I’ve noticed that a lot of them had this very hard exterior. My statistics show that 25 of the women that I have met so far already have Bachelor’s degrees and 17 of them were working towards getting their Master’s degree. I have many things going on for myself, but meeting up and interviewing these boss women can be a little intimidating but also a humbling process.”
Who do you go to for healing/getting past your own obstacles?
“Well right now, I am seeing a professional therapist. I have always been very self-aware of myself through research and experience ever since I was younger. When it is time for me to work on myself, it is honestly difficult because I have already dug so deep through self-awareness. Outside of therapy, I meditate, I listen to various podcasts for understanding and watch videos to hear other people’s stories.”
As a young leader in your community, what other problems need solutions outside of the family?
“Solutions that can resolve problems in my community include traveling to other places while you are young. I was granted a scholarship to travel abroad at the age of 17 and it has shaped me into the person that I am today. Opportunities such as traveling have opened up my mind and got me out of my comfort zone.”
Do you have any future plans after you hit your milestone number of reaching out to 100 women?
“After reaching my milestone number of 100 women, I want to throw a celebratory event and get all of the women together. The individuals whom I have interviewed come from all over the US, so it would be nice if I could get a sponsorship to fly these women out for the event. My plan is to have the event be very artistic which will include singers, poets, fine art, and things that will demonstrate the butterfly collection letters. Other plans include creating content that will document and broadcast 100 Other Halves on multiple platforms. I really want to focus on creating content because my goal is to touch other women across the world.”
Do you have any advice for a young philanthropist/good samaritan that would like to get their voice heard?
“My advice is that if you are passionate about something, create a passion project around whatever that may be and dedicate your time to it. I know that many people are busy with work, school, and life, but in many cases, these do take away from some of our personal passions. So if you do have a passion project that you would like to get out, figure out a way to put your foot on the gas and get that started.”
Do you have any future campaigns or events coming up for 100 Other Halves?
“Outside of the milestone celebration, I do not have any other events scheduled for 100 Other Halves, however, I do have a project titled Boardroom Exclusive. This project is an event series that is a boardroom style event that is dedicated to 15 students where I invite an experienced executive in a particular field to speak to the 15 students. This will take place in November where the exclusive field will be dedicated to students who are majoring in political studies, government, and law. The guest speaker is going to be an experienced woman who works within that field.”
Where can the public reach out to you for an interview or a collaboration?
“The public can reach out to me via: