Reimagining Your Why - Your Passion 1st

Reimagining Your Why

Unprecedented, omnipresent, and life-altering. No matter how you describe the COVID-19 pandemic, for billions around the world the virus has changed life as we know it. Mental Health Issues have shown up front and center since the arrival of COVID-19.  They have been addressed by the media, in particular entertainers, sports stars, musicians, and even in the culinary space as we look to redefine who and what we bring into our mind, body, and spirit. While this crisis has affected adults on so many fronts, we must also take into consideration how this is affecting our youth.

According to the Association for Children’s Mental Health (ACMH), one in five adolescents have some kind of diagnosable emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorder. It is also estimated that one in ten adolescents have mental health challenges. Therefore it is imperative that as mentors and parents of young adults, we identify and assess mental health concerns, as opposed to behavior changes that are attributed to normal growth and development during the adolescent years.

Life will never return to what it was. As rushed vaccines, do their best, much will still be permanently changed. Engaging in the workplace, attitudes about life goals, and reimagining how to conduct life socially are all things YourPassion1st is excited and eager to focus on. Mental Health Awareness will be increased as individuals revisit personal goals, and organizations will be forced to look at hiring, onboarding, training and retention policies as they look to redefine equitable employee engagement standards for all, but most intentional around our black and brown young adults as they get ready to initially enter or re-enter the workforce.

Interestingly, some new research points to features of mental health that will be needed during this 3rd Industrial Revolution. Those findings link, with what some have unearthed, creates greater emotional resiliency, allowing individuals to realign what is essential with their personal values and vision, and what you're truly passionate about. It’s vital to the success of our nation, that we continue to demonstrate these values to our young adults through support and mentorship.

"In order to follow your dreams, you have to put YourPassion1st." - CT

2020 Workforce Readiness Festival Recap

Passion Unleashed!

Despite the odds of a global pandemic, economic hardships, and continued racial tension and inequality, we continued to press forward, pivot, adapt and met our final objectives with the culmination of our mentoring program and virtual workforce readiness festival on November 14th. It was amazing to see our participating young adults, mentors and community partners come together for an unbelievably impactful day of performances and workshops. Individuals were able to highlight their passion in art, culinary, entertainment, fashion, music, sports, and/or wellness as part of 7 Day Global Music Festival hosted by one of our partners, Mi Casa Holiday (MCH).  Along with BUILD Chicago Inc, the MCH Community came together in the name of passion and brought 150 contributors from 18 different countries, more than 25,000 streams, and helped raise over $10,000!! We're so grateful to Julius “The Mad Thinker” Spates and the Mi Casa Holiday family for allowing us to join their platform, Carmen Scott Boria and the BUILD Chicago team for being amazing hosts, Sal and the MeetApp GO team, Derik Hines of Stories to Savior, Martin Ho of Traceable Change, Evan McKerns of UQF, Casandra Powell and Light of Loving Kindness, Jeff Cole and One Span, Dot Lambshead Roche of Race Conscious Dialogues, Echo Theater Collective, John Ibarra and the team from Que4 Studios for their amazing partnership. Our amazing team of mentors and volunteers especially Shana “Queen Prophecy” Williams, Daniele “DeLaFaye” Carr, Tere Wang, Zaire Brooks, Marcelus Miles, Crystal Thomas, Debra Kraft and Susan Lucci. A special thank you to my board members Carlee Taggart and Katherine Kirk for always going above and beyond.  And finally, my business partner Joe Natal of Exponential Consulting for sticking with me from the beginning and helping to make this crazy idea a reality. Thank YOU! Big congratulations go to young adults Jada Cardine and Keishjuan Owens for winning the 2020 YourPassion1st Pitch Competition. Continue to follow your dreams with YourPassion1st! If you were unable to attend the live stream Workforce Readiness Festival event, we've included a link to the unedited version at:
Your Passion 1st Chicago has officially launched!

We are proud to announce our new website, Through innovation, research, and synergy, we inspire under-resourced communities as they overcome challenges surrounding the employment and achievement gaps. We are looking to be the industry leader in workforce readiness festivals, workshops, and events. Check out our website for events, podcasts, and opportunities to volunteer and help us inspire Chicago's youth.


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