**The First Step**
It has been said before, the journey of a lifetime starts with a single step. I stepped into that world of possibilities when I applied and was awarded the Bush Foundation’s leadership fellowship. I am a Bush Fellow! I was thrilled, flattered and filled with gratitude. Shortly after, I realized I could no longer remain in my comfort zone. That I am being challenged to further explore, stretch and grow who I am. To be a transformative and meaningful change I desire to see in this world. And to step into a beautiful journey of self-discovery…
It is difficult to return to life as usual once you’ve awakened to a higher purpose – to this intentional effort of accepting the responsibility to lead oneself first. To be a fiduciary of momentum (of change), one has to build a disciplined framework to one’s own life. To create a space where I could be a strong and enduring leader – I need to identify my own blind spots, to create a growth plan that actually works, to capitalize on improving my physical health to improve all other areas of my life. To take an authentic look at my life and approach my identified shortcomings with humility. Only then can one take a leap beyond personal inspiration to meaningfully bring about social transformation in the community. The ground-zero of self-recalibration.
“Ambitious” is my last name. Unchartered territory is my challenge. Being a resilient and a strong-willed social entrepreneur, I had always followed my own path but the yearning inside me called for something different. To build an ecosystem of change makers. To engage as many people as possible with this shared dream of making a difference to impact the world.
My Bush Fellowship is accelerating the speed at which I engage with my passion: to help young girls see technology careers in a different spotlight. And to help ignite their curiosity and cultivate their confidence, so that they can actively participate in it as the driving force and innovative minds. To provide them with exposure, training, and opportunity so they can believe equitable success is within everyone’s reach. Intrigued and inspired by the question, “how can I see more of me in the technology workforce?” I had the audacity to found an organization called uCodeGirl.
uCodeGirl is a non-profit corporation that explores “the why” and trails the path for “the how”. I draw my inspiration from my speaking engagements to young girls, every time a girl said to me, “I want to study Computer Science” or “I want to be a Software Engineer and increase the number of female participants by one.”
During my fellowship, I have discovered that I had crippled myself by confining leadership to a formal position, when in fact, it is inspiring and encouraging others to act in ways that achieve a shared vision.
My ambition is only matched by an intense desire to succeed. To top it all, a boundless energy to pursue the fire, that is, my purpose.
My Bush Fellowship is providing me with resources, training, tools and networks that will exponentially change the trajectory of my path as a global change agent, starting with my community.
Mahatma Gandhi had once said, “My life is my message.” This resonates with me. I want to dedicate my time and energy to live my life in such a way that it is the message.