Monday, February 6, 2012

An Introduction

Hello, blog readers! I am Anna, the new "social ninja" for Eliminate Poverty Now, and I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you all, as I will be taking over a good portion of the blogging for Judy.

This is me, giving my graduate lecture in Montpelier
I graduated with my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts this past summer, and quit my job in order to pursue my passion. A crazy thing to do, these days, right? The job I was holding was working at a small, independent health food store, and I learned a lot about sustainability and the importance of what we put in and on our bodies, whether it was for health reasons (organics) or just knowing where these things come from in the world (is it local? fair trade?). I worked at the store for four years, and made a lot of good friends, and as much as I will carry the knowledge I gained with me for the rest of my life, I just knew it was time to move on.

In addition to working on my own creative work, having writing be at least a part of my job was the goal. When our mutual friend, Meg, put Judy and me in touch with one another, and told me the job would involve blogging for a non profit, I was immediately interested. Judy and I spoke on Skype, and immediately hit it off, ideas flying all over the place. After a second conversation, the deal was done, and I became a member of the Eliminate Poverty Now family, an opportunity that appeals to me on every level: a company I believe in, a job description that involves writing, and an opportunity to learn about so many different things!

So here I am, at your service. For the past week or so, I've been in a "gathering" mode, learning about
the different projects. How about the great news from Farmers of the Future that Judy posted last week? It's so exciting to see this project get going, and I, for one, can't wait to see it blossom.

One of the first things Judy sent me as material for learning about the different EPN projects was the video of Lilly talking about the Little Rock Early Childhood Development Center. I was immediately struck by her beauty and strength, and the amazing things being accomplished. Lilly's passion is truly inspiring. If you haven't already seen it, please check it out.

And there is news this week from Little Rock! Lilly recently went to the UK and raised the money to buy the land for the new building at the center. This addition will mean that the center will be able to have 1,000 children-- that's four times the current size. They have already had the ground-breaking, and Judy and John will hopefully see the site when they go to Africa next month.

Also, an event that took place just over a week ago (1/29/12) resulted in four boxes of children's books being shipped to the Little Rock Library. John presented Lilly's video at the event, as well as photos. Many thanks to board member, Margie Samuels, for organizing the event, and to everyone who donated the books. Judy sent them out at the end of last week, so they are en route to the Little Rock kids! An extra thanks to Judy Gration, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration, who covered the shipping.

So lots of great things going on at Little Rock, and more on the way! 2012 is the year when the first graduating class of Little Rock Scholars will take the test for secondary school. The score determines whether or not a child goes on to secondary school at all, and within the qualifying scores, the higher the score, the better the school. The top scoring boy and girl will each receive full scholarships for secondary school.

2012 is still new, and here's to a great year ahead of us! As a newcomer to EPN, I have to mention the page on the website that tells you how you can help because it really stood out to me that even people with not a lot to spare (like aspiring writers, perhaps?) can give $10, and it will make a difference. I think this is important for people to realize, who feel like if they can't spare anything big, then they can't make a difference. It's just not the case!

Some might say this is the year when the world will end, but from my experience so far, great things are beginning all over the place! There are endings and beginnings all the time; life is a cycle, after all. A writer ends her formal education and the job she knew, and enters a world of uncertainty. Then she begins something new, something exciting, and something incredibly positive.

And really, that positivity is what I love most about Eliminate Poverty Now.

So thanks for having me! I'm looking forward to being on this journey with all of you.

Oh, and part of being a social-ninja is reminding you all to please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. We'll be posting more often on those sites, as well as here, so be sure to check us out! Also, if you're not already, subscribe to this blog. Thanks!


  1. Anna, we couldn't be happier to have you on the team. You've grasped so much about what we're doing and why we're doing it. And you get the whole social media thing. What a woman. Welcome!