Reflection: Growing with Dream On Youth
This coming November will mark my two year anniversary as a member of the Dream On Youth team. If you’ve read some of my blog posts in the past, you’ll know that DOY came into my life at a point when I really needed it. I was struggling and this community pulled me through. I finally had a place where I could write about things I enjoyed and I had a group of wonderful ladies cheering me on along the way.
The past year and a half with the team has been quite a whirlwind to say the least. We’ve gone through a lot of changes as a business as well as a team. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy my time with the team, but things don’t always run as smoothly as it may seem.
When I joined the team, I was intimidated, I’m not going to lie. I had put myself out there by sending in my application, but I had never really thought about what it would be like if I was accepted. Once I was accepted, I was instantly contacted by some of the original members and thrown into a group chat where everyone seemed so comfortable with telling each other anything and everything. I’m not really the type of person that’s open with others, especially if I don’t know the people too well, so this all took some adjusting. Luckily, there were other new interns who were in the same boat as me.
Fast-forward to now and there is still a bit of adjusting that has to be done from time to time. DOY has gone through its fair share of rebrands, promising that bigger and better things are planned with each launch. Honestly, I have to give props to our boss lady Cydney. She has such a beautiful mind that comes up with some really powerful ideas. I’m always excited to receive updates about what she has in store for us interns. But with each rebrand also comes a hiatus for our team. We go weeks without writing blog posts and we communicate very little on social media. During this time, there’s always the question if we’re hurting our community when they need us most.
Personally, monthly assignments are one of the biggest challenges for me. I always put complete faith in Cydney’s choices, but I get a bit nervous when I first receive that email. In the past, there have been some topics that I know were given to me to as a challenge to push me past my limits. These terrify me and sometimes stress me out, but I get them done and love the feedback that comes out of it. I’ve had posts that haven’t worked out the way they should and ones that have been posted too late because life got in the way. Procrastination has become my biggest issue with blog posts since I push them to until the last minute, like this post (sorry Cydney!) But with each late post or obstacle that has come my way, the team has been nothing but understanding and helpful.
This past year, I have also been given responsibilities that I would’ve never imagined having. DOY has a big presence on Twitter, being able to quickly send out some positivity in a simple tweet. Twitter is also home to our #selfworthwednesday movement and we’ve been able to make some wonderful connections with this movement. However, we were seriously slacking on reaching our community on Facebook. Some of you may scoff at our concern over Facebook, claiming that you don’t use the site anymore, but for those who still do, it was important that we still reached out to you. This year, social media manager got added to my list of titles on the team. So with a concern over our reach on Facebook, I was put in charge of posting updates that went a little bit beyond our 140 character tweets. I barely post on my own account, so being put in charge of the DOY account was a bit terrifying. As much as I love writing these blog posts, I don’t feel like I have the same poetic, inspiring voice like some of the other ladies on the team. But I took on the challenge and have loved seeing the impact it’s been making.
As a team, we have definitely changed over the past year. If you read Emily’s post a while back, you’ll know that we struggle with figuring out who we are as a team. With each new season, we lose members. Sometimes, these have been members that I never thought would leave the team. But I also understand that each member that has left needed to do so for themselves. I am so proud of each of them for putting themselves first, even if the decision to leave was difficult. Each of them has done incredible things outside of DOY and I couldn’t be prouder to have worked alongside of them. I think there has been a point for each of us where things have gotten stressful and DOY has been put on the back burner while we deal with other things. For those ladies still on the team, just know how much you inspire me to keep working hard even when life gets tough. I know we struggle as a community and we sometimes go weeks without speaking, but we are always there for each other and that’s what matters.
Before you read this post, you probably thought DOY was all sunshine and rainbows. Our posts make it seem like things run smoothly and that we don’t run into many problems as a team. But, surprise, we struggle just like all of you. When you throw a group of girls together from different parts of the country, each at a different point in their lives, obstacles are sure to pop up. Blogs don’t get posted and the group chat stays quiet for days. However, I wouldn’t change the past year and a half at all. Each rebrand and change within the team has taught us a new lesson as business women. We accept change and learn from the challenges it brings. Even with all of the changes, one thing remains the same. We are still the group of powerful, inspiring women that want to help you achieve your dreams and reach your full potential. Whether you’ve been with us for a while or just recently joined our community, just know that we are behind you 100 percent and that’s never going to change.