By Sadie Winlock, YWCA Chief Operating Officer Why am I here? Do you ever ask yourself that question? Well, throughout my life, that has been a question I’ve asked myself because I seem to end up in the most unlikely places.
I wanted to be a prima ballerina and ended up having a long career in a for-profit organization that went from private to public; lived in ten different cities across five states, following that job and that paycheck. I now find myself in the non-profit world, and asking myself again: why am I here?
If you were like me, with a bunch of corporate experience and working in a company that was “all about the money,” it’s difficult to imagine being anywhere else; especially in an organization that is all about the “cause.” What? Working for a cause? But when I look back over my many personal and professional experiences, I am here because ….
• I know what it feels like to lose a parent at the age of nine
• I know what it means to be alone in a big city, with a small town idea of life
• I know what it means to try to attend school with no financial support
• I know what it’s like to be a parent of a child with a disability
• I know what it’s like for people to stare at you and your child because s/he walks or talks funny!
• I know what it’s like to be different and feel like no one understands you (not interested in boys and just wanted to dance, dance, dance)!
So, I am the Chief Operating Officer at YWCA Greater Cleveland, where we serve and support those without parents; those who are homeless; those with dreams and desires to go to school with no financial support; those who have experienced trauma or have a disability; those who get those uncomfortable stares from people who don’t understand; and, those who have a God-given talent that want to share it with the world.
I am so proud to be at this place at this time. And, if you ever ask yourself that question – Why Am I Here? – know you will soon find out and you will be able to serve, support and give back like you never thought you could!
What is your passion?