Photo credit: Monica Orozco
Who? Rebecca, 31
Where? Born in Cleveland; raised in Chicago; currently living in Los Angeles and loving my Southern California lifestyle.
What do you do? I’m currently working on behalf of GOOD as the Arts & Culture Ambassador for Pepsi’s Refresh Everything project — a groundbreaking effort to foster innovation in social good across the country. Over the course of the year, we’ll be awarding $20 million in grant money to individuals and organizations with good ideas to move the world forward. Here’s how it works: people’s ideas are submitted (in grant proposal form) to www.refresheverything.com and then, once vetted for legitimacy and eligibility (based on project rules and guidelines), Americans cast their votes for the “best” in an open, online vote. Up to thirty-two grants will be awarded (in increments of 5k, 25k, 50k and 250k) each month, totaling over $1 million dollars. We’re also providing ongoing support for grant winners to ensure that they have access to the tools necessary to implement and execute their good ideas.
Prior to coming on to this project, I worked at a trend forecasting and consumer insight agency for over half-a-decade as a trend analyst, writer and project manager. In many ways, my career has come full-circle because — as a trend forecaster I was tuned in to what consumers want and this Pepsi Refresh initiative is very much in line with what they have come to crave and almost expect from brands and corporations. So I’m beyond-excited to be part of a project that I think will fundamentally change dynamic of what we’ve been referring to as corporate responsibility.In addition to curating Arts & Culture content for Pepsi’s Refresh companion blog, I regularly contribute to other media outlets including C Magazine, Lipsticktracez.com and was blessed with an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to blog from the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on behalf of MySpace Journal and the Wall Street Journal.
What inspires you? A faithful God, amazing parents, my loving (and lovely) husband, my courageous brother (and adorable nephew), the brilliant pastors at my church, my loyal friends and wise mentors all inspire me to strive for a meaningful and fulfilling existence. I’m also inspired by the arts, culture and nature.
Why are you fly? Because I’ve (finally) figured out that it’s not all about me. Not life, not career, not relationships… I believe that there is a greater purpose and that I was put on this earth to help make it a better place. It’s so easy to fall into a self-centered existence — it’s something that we all struggle with, but I’ve discovered the happiness and fulfillment that comes when I live beyond myself.
Advice: I think life’s far more exciting and enjoyable when you don’t try to plan each and every minute of it. While I think it’s important to have goals, be weary of setting too many specific, high expectations unless you want to create loads of unnecessary stress. Understand that life is a journey that you’ve got to let unfold in due time, an unexpected detour (that initially seems like a hindrance) may actually position you to be “in the right place at the right time”. Oh, and I once heard someone say “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” and I believe this to be true.