I received my B.A. in International Business with a concentration in Marketing. Acquiring a graduate degree is a very important factor to succeed in my long term goals. During my undergraduate studies, I had several exceptional professors that inspired me to want to pursue a career in higher education. Since my graduation, I have made a ten year goal for myself to achieve that aspiration and become a professor. I am very fortunate to be graduate school in hopes of obtaining my MBA by the spring of 2015. While the university makes it feasible for those working full time to attend graduate school to obtain their degree, the costs of obtaining a graduate degree are burdensome. That is why I am so honored to join Zerobound as a means to assist in funding my continued education through volunteer opportunities and ultimately to achieve my dream career. Visit my Zerobound Video: http://youtu.be/svNsvDFuCbA
I am a 29 year old Coloradan who has always enjoyed helping others. I started my community service work in high school with various clubs including the National Honor’s Society, the Diversity Fair Planning Committee and Amnesty International, among others. I studied History and Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder from August 2003 to December 2007. In college, I really stepped up my volunteer hours by joining the Gamma Theta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a non-Greek co-ed community service fraternity. We planned different service opportunities through many organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Denver Rescue Mission, Project Angel Heart, Boy Scouts of America, and Adopt-A-Highway, among others. I held several different offices including Fellowship chair and Pledge chair. Less than a month after graduating from college, I joined the AmeriCorps NCCC program. The National Civilian Community Corps is a team based, ten month program of national service. My projects included disaster recovery with Hands On in New Orleans, LA, teaching outdoor education at Camp Highroad in Virginia, building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Vero Beach, FL, working with Rebuilding Together in New Orleans, LA, and hurricane relief with the Red Cross in Galveston, TX. Once I arrived back home from my term of service, I worked at non-profit that provided job coaching for adults and students with development disabilities. When that organization went through some restructuring, I moved into the private business sector to work as a paralegal. As life has gotten busy, I haven’t kept up with volunteering as much as I would have liked and I often find myself thinking about finding an organization to join with and promising myself that I’ll look into it … tomorrow. I am also nearing the big 3-0 birthday, and would really like to have more of my student loan debt paid off by then. When I heard about the unique opportunity that Zero Bound seeks to provide, I knew that I wanted to be involved.
Everyone has a dream -- to become an athlete, to travel the world, to buy a house -- mine is to make documentary films. The lowest point in my professional career was when I had to turn down my dream job in documentary filmmaking because it didn’t pay enough to pay back my students loans. I’d remembered my family struggling with debt, and paying for groceries with food stamps. I always vowed to never end up like that. So, I didn’t take the job. I tried to hide my dream in the back of my mind thinking it would just go away; trying to convince myself go down the “safe” road, and make money. But, of course, it hasn’t go away. And, of course, neither have my student loans. Right now I work full time in information technology, and I actually really like my job. I also work part-time doing freelance work, just to try to pay off my loans as fast as I can. I put about half my income into my student loans – because just the interest alone is double what I pay for utilities. But, outside of work, I volunteer with a local film club called Indie Film Club Miami. We bring together brand new filmmakers, seasoned veterans, and really just anyone interested in filmmaking. We hold workshops, screenings, and an interactive film festival for everyone in our community to experience. I am volunteering to bring together more documentary filmmakers to create films about our community, because watching a film about your neighborhood, with your neighbors, truly fosters collective reflection, and creates a time capsules for generations to come. I love this – I love enabling our community to see itself through art. I don’t want student loans to stifle me from this. If you believe that a child should be able to grow up in this country and realize her full potential, then your support will not only bring her one step closer, it will also bring us one step closer to a world where the pursuit of happiness isn’t stifled by the pursuit of higher education. Thank you. -Ani