May 13

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What have you done today to make you feel proud?

“I look into the window of my mind, Reflections of the fears I know I’ve left behind I step out of the ordinary, I can feel my soul ascending I’m on my way, Can’t stop me now”

Umm what? What’s this all about? What am I up to? What is all this nonsense?

This is a ‘vintage’ song lyric (“Proud” written by Heather Small) from one GSK’s many motivational videos played throughout my 15 year journey as a GSK employee. This was the first week I truly understood what it meant to be proud beyond the words of a motivational song. This company, my company, has given me this opportunity to become an ambassador of change back where it all began for me. (Cue “In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on a playground is where I spent most of my days”…. Come on, you know you were just singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air song!)

For the remainder of this year, I will be a Pulse Partner with the Philadelphia Education Fund. The Philadelphia Education Fund is a non-profit organization that supports the Philadelphia Public School System. Throughout my journey I will be capturing the story of my mission as it unfolds through this blog. I encourage you to follow me, like me, fax me, tweet me, whatever it is that the “cool” kids do these days….

So why now? My answer to why is simple (with a long winded description) – human thread. There is a simple, delicate thread that links us all as human beings…. The need for clean water, food, shelter, health, education (in the simplest form). Over the past several years, I’ve been more acutely focused on the waves of change that have been testing the strength of that human thread…. Just how delicate is that fiber? We’ve had civil unrest, natural disasters, political injustice, and health pandemics. And for me, I just can’t sit on the side lines any longer…. I wanted to find a way to reconnect and strengthen the human thread (no matter how big or small). For so long, I’ve created in my mind what seems like every possible excuse to not take a step out of my safe little comforts of routine regardless of how many people need help. Someone else will help them, right?! What I realized in all those excuses is that I was just scared… completely fearful of going into a space I know nothing about to try to bring some level of meaningful support and sustainable change. In reality…. And thanks to an insightful and reflective Pulse Orientation program, I feel confident and ready to take on my mission.

What about your family? Are you going to leave your house? And what about your ‘day job’? Does your boss not like you anymore? These are just a few of the thousand questions I’ve received directly or indirectly as I spent months going through the Pulse Application process and soul searching to the core and back.

Couple quick answers to the questions – (as I’m sure many have fallen asleep by now….)

  • I could never go off on a mission like this without the unwavering support of my family, especially my husband. From the day we met, he has always challenged me to go after what I believe in regardless of the logistical hurdles it will cause for us.
  • My house? A house is just a house. My home is wherever my family is and we have an amazing “Olivia Pope” caliber strategy in place to be with each other as often as possible. For the short term, I’ll be having dual residence, with Pulse residence in center city Philadelphia throughout the assignment. With the full time help/blessing of Aunt CC aka Mary Poppins…. We are going to execute that strategy better than anyone I know!
  • My day job will not be backfilled; therefore, I have nothing but tremendous gratitude to my Dream Team for covering my role in my absence – Malena Pranzo, Katie Nordstrom & Pete Sano.
  • My boss? Richard Cassidy…. Could anyone ever have a boss more supportive than mine? Doubtful. He has had a front row ticket to my rollercoaster ride of soul searching, decision making, tears, frustration, joy, laughter, and flat out respect for wherever I landed. Again, I couldn’t be more grateful nor could I leave without knowing I would be welcomed back to “gather around the Paw” with my dream team.

I leave you with the remainder of the “Proud” Song & encourage you to think about & post back to me! … What have you done today to make you feel proud?

“Still so many answers I don’t know (there are so many answers) Realize that to question is how we grow (to question is to grow) So I step out of the ordinary I can feel my soul ascending I’m on my way Can’t stop me now And you can do the same What have you done today to make you feel proud?”

Bon Voyage!

Geri/Gigi