Or how working with wonderful women every day is the best thing that happened to me this year
I remember my dad saying that true happiness came from doing what you love, surrounded by people you like. I tend to forget that not everyone has the privilege to do so every day. To be able to go to work, and team up with some of the smartest women I've ever met, watching them make a difference in the community, and witnessing their passion for helping others, is very inspiring. And humbling. I always strive to be surrounded by people that are smarter than me, people that would teach me to be a better version of myself, people that I am proud to stand by and follow.
For those that don't know, we at CDR work to help people get on their feet. That might look different for different people. Some might need more help than others, but if anyone comes to our office, no matter their background or ethnicity, or what they need to achieve their goal, we do our best to help them figure out a way to a better life. We usually work with BIPOC, but everyone is welcome. And we mean that.
These women love what they do, and the people they help. You can see how much they care in the way they light up when they speak about what they do. It's energizing, to witness their passion for people. Makes coming to work a pleasure, because you look forward to hearing what they'll do next, what they are working on. These are the kind of women that I want my girls to grow up to be, compassionate and loving- yet fierce and determined to make a difference in their corner of the world.
Working in an office full of women from different backgrounds and ethnicities comes with another perk- they feed you. I've had muffins one day, then fish and rice the next. I've even brought some Dominican food for them to sample. These ladies, that work so hard, also find time to nurture relationships with others, to connect with others with their food- and I enjoy every minute of it.
Each one of them has something especial to share with all of us.
Yoke-sim has been working for a long time to foster a sense of unity and community in Fargo, working hard to bring diversity acceptance and education since the 90s. Her passion for others is contagious. She has the heart of a teacher and a mentor, always pushing others to be better, encouraging them to find the best in themselves. Her stories, and her laugh when she finds something interesting, always make me smile. She's the first one that said she saw something good in me, even before I believed it myself.
Precious works tirelessly to help people in our community, especially women, find the way to a better life. She's the friendly face you'll talk to when you come in. She also has her own non-profit, Women Initiative Network, doing what she does best- helping other women. I spend most of my time with her, talking about our work and life. Nothing better than talking about our kids while we eat delicious food she made.
Rachel likes to work with children in need. Helping the youth in our community is her passion, and you can see it in her eyes as she talks about the kids and the schools she works with. I wish more schools in the Fargo/Moorhead area would have her program, Ps & Qs Etiquette, because our children could benefit from what they teach them: a sense of self love and how to be proud of being who they are, no matter how different they might feel to be. I know I'd love to have my children be a part of it for sure.
Joan is a never ending fountain of wisdom. She seems to be good at everything. Numbers, gardening, life. Listening to her talk about all the things she's done, and her children, is the highlight of my mornings. She's a strong willed, passionate lady, that manages to be sweet at the same time. No matter how busy she is, if you need her- she's there for you. Because that's how she is, if there's work to be done she's first in line to do it. Her love for others is there for all to see. She makes great muffins too.
And then there's me, Julia. Still learning. Taking in all that these women can teach me, and getting to know how things work in the process. I want to think I bring something to them as well, but the truth is that I'm the one that has the winning hand here- I have the joy, and the privilege, to work with them. To learn from them, and follow in their footsteps. And believe me, these are people you'd enjoy to follow.
I love my job, and I think I'm a great fit for it. Talking has always been something I love to do, and using that ability to help others is a dream come true. I'm looking forward to see what else these women will do- so I can keep telling the world about it.
Because when you meet people as wonderful as they are, you need to let everyone know.