Cali2Philly

An 8-day journey or 11 years?

Disclaimer: I have been putting off writing my first and second (maybe even third) entry because I don’t know how to start, what to say, or how to say it. So, bear with me as I stumble through it.

My husband and I decided the best way to say good-bye for 6 months, with a few weekend visits mixed in, would be a road trip from California to Philadelphia over the course of 8 days. We had a great time and the drive was beautiful.

We had a lot of time to reflect on the purpose and my decision to leave our life together and these 8-days made me realize that it has been an 11-year journey. When I was hired by GSK 11 years ago, they started a program called PULSE, a volunteer skills-based initiative with the goal to change communities, change employees, and change GSK. I was immediately drawn to the opportunities this program would provide; the development would be full circle. I knew once I hit the 3-year mark of being employed by GSK, I would be applying.

Well, 3 years hit, I had been married 3 months and moved across the state to begin a new life. Needless to say, no one was on board with me leaving for 6 months. Seven more years go by with multiple opportunities to hone my leadership, professional development and training skill sets, and I finally feel the stars were aligned and it was time for me to apply for this life changing experience. I applied and made it to the third stage of the process, matching my skills sets to a specific non-profit internationally. I still remember the day I got the email of rejection. I was devastated. I didn’t understand how I wasn’t a “perfect match”. Once I came to terms with the decision and told everyone that supported me through the process that I wasn’t leaving, I wasn’t giving up. I would be applying again in 9 months.

December came around, I applied and received a congratulations email 4 months later. When I read the assignment, I finally understood what was meant by, “the perfect match”. Fast forward to June, I am working with The Food Trust in Philadelphia. I will be assessing and providing professional development needs for the entire organization and Get HYPE Philly!, a youth run program for middle school and high school students where they are empowered to better their school and community for a healthier life.

Please visit http://www.thefoodtrust.org read more about the amazing things that The Food Trust and Get HYPE Philly! are doing for the Philadelphia communities.

Stay tuned for more about what I will accomplish and learn over the next 6 months!

Cheers, Amber