Update:  This post was one of the most-shared stories in the contest and won! As a result, I have the opportunity to join Switch & Shift’s writing team. Many thanks to everyone for sharing! 

I‘m excited to have a new post up over at Switch and Shift as a part of their My Story Millennial Campaign contest series featuring “the best of the millennial voices.” The full post is available here.

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When I was graduating from college, I didn’t intend to start a Haiti-based non-profit. I knew I wanted to live in Haiti, help people, and work hard. So when a stranger offered a donation to establish a new program in an underserved rural village, I jumped at it.

In the post-earthquake world of aid work in Haiti, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was young, on my own, and my daily “commute” to the village was on a motorcycle taxi. But I knew the language, I knew to ask questions, and I knew how to hire people with the skills and experience I lacked. Our pilot program launched just two weeks later with one hundred children and four local program managers. Now, GOALS Haiti is celebrating four years of working with thousands of children and its daily programs are led by 20 talented staff members, 18 of whom are from local villages.

Each step of the way, I lost a little bit of fear. Fear about things falling apart, fear about making mistakes, fear about over-reaching myself. How did I do this? Because each of those things happened. Worst case scenarios played out and the world kept turning anyway. Even more, the biggest mistakes often led to the biggest opportunities. Here’s what I know now: read the 5 points at Switch & Shift.

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