Interested in starting your own journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Akuyoe Graham, Founder and Executive Director of Spirit Awakening Foundation, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your organization, and who are your members?
The nonprofit arts in the education sector - we work with county agencies, schools, community centers, and other arts organizations and artists in the entertainment industry.
Tell us about yourself
I am an interdisciplinary artist- performer, writer, director, and producer. I was motivated to help young people struggling with issues of self-esteem and those trying to heal from trauma and abuse when I visited a juvenile hall and saw kids 10-11 years old shackled at the hands and feet. That was not okay with me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as an organization?
27 years and going strong. Having formed alliances and a path to move forward with collaborations that were once antagonistic - this is a lesson I'd love to impart to our political leaders. Having mentored and helped hundreds of young people with financial aid and scholarships, go on to higher education - UCLA, USC, Berkeley, and others.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an organization?
Understanding divergent points of view, leading from a place of supporting everyone's growth and evolution, even individuals that I may not necessarily like.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow an organization today?
- Be true to yourself - ALWAYS.
- Integrity is key.
- Accept your growth points and laugh a lot.
Where can people find you and your group?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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