Wow, it’s been almost 10 months since a life update post. A lot has happened and now is just the time to recap. Life sure does move fast!
I guess I’ll work my way back because that will be easy to remember. This week I’m going to Harvard University in Boston, Mass. Last summer, you may remember that I was at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Well Wednesday, I leave for Boston to join the NSLC family for 7 weeks. I couldn’t be more excited and it’s just the right time in my life to be going. What will I be doing? Over the summer, I’m a leadership facilitator for the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). NSLC is a pre-college summer program for teens essentially. There are about 13 sites like the one I will be at. Teens will fly in from all over the world and live on a college campus for about a week. They’ll learn about careers in Health & Psychology. They’ll also explore the Boston area and while they’re with me I will lead them in leadership sessions designed for them to better understand & challenge themselves. The sessions will challenge them to understand the importance of commitment, understand their communication styles (emotional intelligence), understand their visions, test their leadership abilities in a group setting and more. It’s a pretty cool experience and I’m excited to watch these students grow and connect with strangers from all over the world. Each week we’ll have a couple hundred new students and we’ll have a couple thousand or so over the summer.
The past year has been incredible. Being an entrepreneur and growing my own business has been the most amazing experience! In 2019 alone, I’ve auctioneered for 17 Benefit Auctions thus far and have over a dozen booked for the Fall when I come back from Harvard. All 17 this Spring surpassed our fundraising goals. All together FSA Auctions helped fundraise over $2.2 Million for nonprofits, charity organizations, and schools. FSA Auctions conducted Benefit Auctions as far as San Diego, Palm Springs and into Southern California. A majority of FSA Auctions were in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Some clients included the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, the Salvation Army & UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital. The largest auction was 700 guests and the largest net increase was $71,750 dollars. FSA Auctions broke numerous records. I spent hours and hours researching, emailing, & learning. I have so many people to thank from the WorldWide College of Auctioneering family, Emily, Josh, Brian, Katie, Natasha, and so many more. Thank you to the auction committee’s who have given us their trust and most importantly thank you to our donors. FSA Auctions provides opportunities but it’s the donors who make it all possible. The donors give to the nonprofit, charity and schools. Thank you!
About 6 weeks ago my dad had a large mass in his intestines. It was colon cancer. He ended up having it removed and he was in the hospital for 9 days. It was super hard and the recovery process afterwards has been challenging. He’s doing better now. From my perspective it’s been really hard. My mom passed away a little over two years ago, my dad had a heart attack about a year ago and now this. The kicker is being an only child and not having a sibling to share the load. I think being an only child is great growing up but once you become an adult I can see how it would be nice to have siblings. But God only gives you what you can handle. Sometimes, I wonder how and why. Many don’t know this but there was a time in my life when I was homeless. I know what it’s like to not have enough money for cheese when you are living off canned beans, cheese and tortilla’s. Cheese was so expensive that we were doing without. I also had a mother who was bed-ridden for 17 years of her life after a drunk driver hit her. She lived in chronic pain which eventually turned into two forms of cancer. I share this with you to say that your past doesn’t have to be your present and it certainly doesn’t have to be your future. I’ve turned hardship into motivation. I’ll never forget a gentleman that came to our door when I was 18 to deliver foreclosure papers or that feeling of creditors calling all the time or the pain of going into my mom’s room just to check in on her to make sure she’s still breathing. That pain is fuel. Motivation that no one will ever work harder than me. Motivation to wake up everyday working towards leaving the world a little better than I found it. Motivation that everyday is a blessing and you do your best to make the most of it.
As I embark upon NSLC at Harvard in a few days, I plan to share three simple messages with these students. The first is… just do the next right thing. The second… aim to leave it better than you found it. Finally, change is inevitable. A mentor once said, “Just do the next right thing. I’m not sure what that will be but you’ll know.” Maybe it’s walking out of here and saying Hi to a stranger, maybe it’s holding a door for the person behind you or maybe it’s saying “I love you, I’m sorry or Thank You.” If we can just do the next right thing in turn we’ll leave it better than we found it and when change does happen we’ll be ready to embrace it with our best foot forward. Being the best you doesn’t happen over night and it has no completion. It’s consistent actions that become habits. Those habits become our character and our character is who we are and who we will become.