“Having a heart for the poor isn’t hard, we all have that. But having a mind for the poor, that’s the challenge.” – Michael Fairbanks of Harvard University
No singular person or entity can solve any major challenge of humanity without the strategic, systemic collaboration of others. Collective impact connects all the dots in a community to make lasting, positive change.
Dylan grounds community leaders in the importance of educational access and attainment, economic opportunity and equity, individualized belongingness, and reverence to a community’s history(/herstory) and assets. He strives to perfect the efficacy of change-makers in Central Florida. Living every moment for others, ceaselessly learning, and embracing challenges with ferocious vivacity all drive Dylan to greet every sunrise with the confidence that it will always be brighter than the last.
Dylan is the Donor and Partner Relations Coordinator and Grants Manager with A Gift For Teaching and a former Chair of the Board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Orlando (YNPN Orlando). His skills in strategic planning, impact management, technological integration, resource cultivation, research, and partnership development build personal, organizational, and community peace, prosperity, and resiliency. He is also a loud advocate for underrepresented identities in leadership and entrepreneurship.
My name is Chantel Aquart and I believe that when your life is organized, your space, mind and time become synchronized: Synchronized lives lead to more effortless living, reaching goals more efficiently and making life more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we consume so much that it clutters our spaces, our minds and our time, which in turn causes stress, illness, and wasted money. The storage industry in the U.S. is a one trillion dollar industry: we have too much stuff and our possessions have begun to possess us! I have been going to women’s homes professionally since 2005, helping people to declutter and reorder their space and in turn their lives. It’s amazing how transformative it is to actually have less! I’m passionate about helping people get free from the clutter that hinders them and mastering the art of prioritizing what’s most important. I’m excited about being in Crave because I want to deepen my capacity for community connections and polish my professional skills. On a personal note, I love to travel the world with my three children, and I think that’s only possible because I’m organized!
Elshan Asadi believes all people deserve affordable housing. The problem is the stakeholders that can make the biggest impact are not collaborating in the most effective ways. She is working to bring academia, government, and charity-based organizations together to address this epidemic. Elshan moved to Central Florida 7 years ago with a degree in architecture engineering. She is pursuing her Master of Architecture at the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning, and she works full time in architecture field.
I’ve always known that I’m meant to change the world. My passions include learning, growth and art. My interests change as I explore everything I’m able to, and so I graduated from the University of Central Florida Spring 2018 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies – Journalism and Psychology, and a Minor in Digital Media. During my last semester in college I interned with Playground City, a nonprofit focused on making education playful, and accepted a position as Program Director months after. Working with Playground City has shown me the importance of learning and growth and has kickstarted a passion for education. I believe if we change the way people learn, in and out of schools, we can change the world. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work with my community to become the best me I can be, and push others to do the same!
We live as a shared humanity and every single person is deserving of dignity and honor. I don’t want to live in a world where anyone is left behind. So, why not lean in?
A lifelong peace practitioner, educator, and community organizer, Christopher leads their work for cultural transformation by centering the unapologetic and unwavering power of radical love. A child of undocumented immigrants and a queer person of color, Christopher interconnects their lived experience and drives the necessary heart work of building a culture of peace, compassion, and change through advocating for LGBTQ+, immigrant, and racial justice movements.
Through their work with state, national, and transnationally recognized initiatives and organizations, Christopher has led conversations and facilitated education campaigns specifically addressing structural racism, health equity, and LGBTQ+ issues.
In acknowledgment of their commitment to social equity and LGBTQ+ justice, Christopher was honored by Equality Florida as their 2017 Voice of Equality honoree and in 2018 by the Public Broadcasting Station as an American Graduate Champion.
In 2016, following the horrific massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, Christopher co-founded and served as the executive director of QLatinx, a racial, social, and gender justice movement working toward the advancement of intersecting LGBTQ+ Latinx issues. Under the direction of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Christopher led efforts to address health disparities, and introduce comprehensive measures and practical solutions that directly support communities living with HIV in the US South. Empowered by the auspice of the Trans Justice Funding Project, the nation’s largest transgender led philanthropic initiative, Christopher has worked to drive nearly $1 million dollars to transgender led and serving initiatives across the continental US and it’s territories.
An avid peacebuilder, Christopher serves on the Board of Directors for the Peace and Justice Institute, an internationally recognized center for peace education. Appointed by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in 2019, Christopher served on the Advisory Board for the City of Orlando’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, working to highlight and address the needs of the City’s growing multicultural community. Christopher is currently employed as a grant maker for the Laughing Gull Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of LGBTQ+ initiatives across the US South, and manages a $2 million dollar grant portfolio to support LGBTQ+ organizations working at the intersections of racial, gender, and economic justice throughout the US South.