Growing up was somewhat tough for me. I mean, life was overall good, but I was awful at taking care of myself. Absolutely awful. I grew up as a shy, overweight, and very insecure girl. I lacked the confidence to do a lot of the things my peers were doing. Things that would have helped me become more confident, like joining clubs, sports teams, and social events. I learned to avoid any and all types of discomfort. I became a PRO at that! My insecurities and lack of self-worth affected the beginning of my adult life in a very profound way. Sometimes you have to fall apart so that you can put yourself back together again. Back together in a way that works better. This is what I did in my twenties-put myself back together piece by piece. I taught myself how to be challenged without hiding and how to believe in hope and possibility. In a nutshell, I taught myself how to heal from years of self-inflicted trauma. And in these years and years of healing, I learned not only how to LIVE healthy and BE healthy, but also that I LOVE healthy and I love ME.
Living and loving living are two different things. I want to teach others how to love living, how to use their talents and insecurities as a blueprint for personal growth. I want every teen to have the confidence to scream outloud, “I LOVE MYSELF.” I want to help others create their amazing lives without having to fall apart and spend years putting the pieces back together.
It’s Possible Project came about in a very beautiful way. Marissa Hutter, my now business partner, came back into my life after teaching in Colombia. We both reconnected during a time where we were figuring out what we wanted to do next in our life. We both believed in doing the work we loved, but the school system was too confining for our dream. We HAD to start something new.
We decided to dive into the world of social entrepreneurship, and It’s Possible Project was born.
It’s Possible Project, is a direct product of our values, experiences, and journey in life. It is fueled by the idea that any and everything is possible; that if you love and believe in yourself enough, you can and will design a life you love. We developed, our own unique Recipe for Success focusing on Academic Development, Nutritional Awareness, and Personal Leadership. From our personal hindsight, our professional experiences, and our belief system, it became very evident that these three areas could greatly enhance a person’s ability to live a fulfilled and meaningful life.
My own journey in this Recipe for Success
Like I said, I was very shy. I had a lot of friends, but when in class, I rarely spoke up. I was scared to ask questions or for help. I got good grades. However, if I was in a class that was a bit challenging, I would settle for a lower grade because I didn’t want to be a bother to the teacher or my peers and seek the help I needed. As you can probably tell, I wasn’t the best communicator. This followed me for quite some time. Fast forward to my college years. I learned how to speak up for myself and seek help if I needed to. But after college required a more advanced skillset. I was not prepared for the world of selling myself in a job interview. My lack of confidence and poor communication skills haunted me and the entire process was terrifying.
Through teaching, I learned how to communicate with others in a professional manner. Focusing on students, advocating for them, helped me see the world outside of myself. I’ve learned that when I am in an interview or talking with a colleague, it’s no longer about my insecurities. It’s about being confident in my ability to help others around me.
This is a sensitive topic. I was VERY overweight growing up. This problem fueled deep insecurities that rooted themselves within, and took over the way I lived my life. I WISH I knew how to take care of my body early on. As an adult, I spent several years researching and teaching myself how to eat in a way that was nourishing and felt good. But as a teen, I did not know much about nutrition at all. I did not know that I could eat to lose weight; that I could eat in a way that would energize me and allow me to feel more confident; that what I was eating was actually making me sick and lethargic. I wish I knew that food could be my medicine. I wish I knew that food could heal. I wish I knew. But now, I am strong. I’ve run a 10K, something I never thought I could do. I go to boot camp. I keep a food journal. I created a support system to hold myself accountable. I’m so glad that I have spent the time to learn about how to eat for my body. That I took the time and continue to take the time to become the healthiest and strongest version of myself. That’s what I want for everyone.
Personal leadership to me is making decisions that are good for you. As a teenager, this can be particularly difficult because of countless external influences. I never believed in myself enough to let my voice be heard in a sea of people. I did not take many risks. I was complacent. I never advocated for myself the way I did for others. Being a teen was difficult. I couldn’t really see how each day I was just surviving without much purpose. Graduate school changed all that. Receiving a Master of Social Work degree changed my world. Learning about psychological and social theory was eye opening. You cannot go through social work school without intense self-reflection and active healing. During this time, I started therapy. I became completely aware of each of my insecurities and negative cognitions, along with everything I was good at. Which was a lot. It was the first time I truly began to cherish and celebrate my gifts. I learned to be mindful and present. I learned how to show gratitude to all the beauty around me. I learned to FORGIVE. Others and myself. I learned how to make purposeful decisions that transformed my life. Graduate school was my life savor. Personal Leadership is also about gratitude.
I am extremely grateful that I’m now in a place where I have the self-awareness to take care of myself and the confidence to create a life I love. It’s Possible Project is our baby. It’s everything we believe in. We cannot wait to watch it grow and develop into a community of teens and their families all on a quest to live well-balance, happy and fulfilled lives!
Academic Development + Nutritional Awareness + Personal Leadership = Possibility