The last year of my life has been quite the journey in both my personal and professional life, lots of changes, lots of challenges, and lots of learning. I was a bit on the fence about applying for Crave because I had my hands in a variety of projects already and I really didn’t want to be shared on yet another calendar of responsibilities. But, after talking to Michele, Crave’s founder, and learning that most of it was not mandatory and that we would be the first group to experience it, I felt better about getting involved.
After all, Crave came in at the perfect time. It subconsciously became part of my support system. Every time we would meet, my relationship with the rest of the members grew and my appreciation for the hustle we were all going through stayed alive. The space that Michele created promotes a sense of inclusiveness that is welcoming and leaves you with no option but to listen and be heard. It’s awesome.
One thing that brought relief about Crave is that they didn’t enforce any type of religious beliefs upon us. We did have certain events at churches and the casual prayer, which I’m cool with, being that I grew up in a catholic household. Considering that as an adult, I don’t regularly attend church or label myself under any specific religious group, Crave triggered a sense of curiosity that sparked an interest in digging deeper into my spiritual beliefs, which I had been seeking for some time now.
I developed a great relationship with my mentor Ben Collins, which I am very grateful for. The project I originally presented in my Crave application went through some changes that required me to make some big decisions, which led to a significant shift in the project’s trajectory. Ben helped me through that. He was super easy to talk to, down to earth, and very willing to share his knowledge. He helped me strategize and shared some contacts with me that helped me find answers to come challenging questions. Ben is great and I hope we can continue to develop a friendship beyond Crave.
Some of the workshops and community partner meetings were a huge help for me and the development of my project. In particular, the workshop we did at Rollins College labeled “INNOVATION: Rollins Advanced Center for Entrepreneurship with Cari Coats Central Florida Social Enterprise Accelerator” was a tremendous help! We got to pitch our projects to some of the most innovative leaders in town and get their feedback. It was great!
It’s been a phenomenal experience being able to see my project evolve alongside the rest of the group. Every one of the Crave members has been an inspiration for me and I am very proud of everyone’s achievements. I hope that the Crave organization was able to learn from us as much as we were able to learn from them. I look forward to seeing everyone succeed and making lasting contributions in our communities. Thanks!