My name is Tynisha Worthy and I have served as FellowshipManager and Director of Team Service Projects with PublicAllies Cincinnati, a program of BRIDGES for a Just Community,for the past 3 years.Today, you will have an opportunity to read bits and pieces ofmy thoughts. I have constructed my presentation in this waybecause I have found it extremely difficult to communicatewith you all this year. I have often wondered if people trulymisunderstand the information and/or directives I give or if itis just the nature of the group to challenge/question anythingthat constitutes work, presents a challenge or has thepotential to stretch one’s comfort zone.Here are my thoughts…I’m speaking (okay…typing my truth).Read…or don’t…it is up to you.
tnwPresentation of Learning Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The official title of my presentation is: Circles, Self-Actualization & LeBron James The core values I will explore during this time are: Continuous Learning ▪ Integrity The Learner Outcomes that are most relevant include:Self-Awareness ▪ Leadership ▪ Careers in Public Life
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We arerelative. We are mature in one realm, childish inanother. The past, present and future mingle andpull us backward, forward or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. - Anaḯs Nin
Circles have been a recurringtheme for me lately, both inconversations about changeand as a metaphor for prayer.When considering how best toconvey my learning, I keptarriving at the image of acircle. You start at zerodegrees, and you progress to360 degrees, which is thesame point…
Eight years ago when I completed my first Public Allies journey, I leftfeeling equipped with the tools necessary to “make a difference.” I knewmy assets, I had a new set of core values to inform my leadership practice and I had a network of peers and organizations to tap into. With my first big-girl job secured at Lighthouse Youth Services upon graduation from PA, I was ready!
Having inadvertently swallowed a little too much of the PA Kool-Aid, I went to Lighthouse believing wholeheartedly in the mission of“advancing the dignity and well-being” of the youth we served. I hadrelevant experience and great ideas…Because of my great workethic, I had job security and a bright future, especially if I paid mydues and lost some of my youthful idealism…Fortunately…or unfortunately…I am hyper aware of incongruence. Iget angsty and disenchanted when organizational missions get co-opted, especially in response to/at the whim of board members andfunders that are far removed from the people being served. Don’t talk about it…BE ABOUT IT.
What I know for sure…“What a man can be, he must be. Thisneed we may call self-actualization…” - Abraham Maslow
I am beautiful and intelligent. I am complicated and complex. I am strong and even more strong-willed. I am a lover. At times, I am a fighter. I am a great friend. I work hard. I give my very best. I absolutely have high expectations for myself and others. I am an achiever. I am mission-driven. I amrelentless. For me, results matter and failure is not an option.I speak my mind. I don’t hold back. On some things, I only seeblack and white. On others, I see the entire spectrum. I don’t respect quitters and respect even less those who are unwilling to at least try. I love people. I also can’t stand people. I am simultaneously self-centered and painfully aware of my environment. I am an ever-evolving work inprogress. I am me and I feel comfortable in my own skin. I am thankful for that.
Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein
After serving at Lighthouse for 4years, I no longer felt sure aboutmy ability to effect changethrough nonprofit work… Fast forward to June 2009…I have just been offered the job of my dreams as a PA Program Manager…
My initial thoughts were:• Of course BRIDGES/Public Allies is mission-driven – they introduced me to Core Values, ABCD and Community Engagement• Of course the mantra Everybody Leads is embraced and respected• Of course my work ethic and creativity and most importantly MY VOICE is welcome and encouraged in this space
I would love to think that if my timing wasdifferent…say, prior to the economic downturn orperhaps if the myriad Cincinnati Fortune 500 companieswere buying up event tables instead of primarily fundinghigh-impact programs…I would not be back where Istarted:• Feeling overworked and underpaid• Feeling undervalued and disrespected• Feeling used up and shut-up, you know, like the child that is supposed to be seen and not heard… Two different organizations… same feelings…
After 3 years in this role, I find myself, in many ways, back where I started…I have come full circle…Full Circle: through a series of developmentsthat lead back to the originalsource, position or situation or to acomplete reversal of the original position - Merriam Webster
Over the last several weeks, I have been watching the NBA playoffs. Both“The Decision” and the 2011 NBA Championship that wasn’t were daily backstories on ESPN and Sports Talk Radio. As I digested all of the commentary, Ifound myself empathizing with LeBron James and saw a few parallels in ourexperiences: 1. We are both Northeast Ohioans 2. Over the last 2 years, we have faced huge transitions and tremendous professional challenges 3. After giving our all to our respective organizations and communities, we had to make some tough choices