Life has a way of teaching you exactly what needs to be learned, all you have to do is listen to the world around you.
A few days ago, I was assigned to cover a non-profit organization that is fighting infant mortality in Columbus. That day I became too familiar with an unfavorable fact about the Buckeye state: Ohio ranks second to last in the country for babies dying before their first birthdays. I'm an avid lover of children, so this was not the news I wanted to report. Thankfully, a program called Moms2B was working to change the statistic.
That's where I came in.
The organization was opening its 6th location in "hotspot" neighborhoods where infant mortality rates were the highest. I was to tell our audience why southeast Columbus was in grave need of such a center.
Before I start conducting interviews, I like to observe the room. It makes for a more precise and reflective story. So, I stood off to the side while my photographer got video of a 21-year old mom who was going table-to-table asking questions about breast feeding.
As I stood there alone, a woman walked up to me and sparked conversation as if we'd known each other for years. (I LOVE those kind of people!) We exchanged pleasantries, and come to find out she was the program's director.
Tanikka Price had one of those personalities you gravitated toward. She was full of energy and passionate about her work. She had this thick accent that I couldn't quite pinpoint, so I asked her where she was from.
"I'm from here," she said.
"Really??," I said shocked.
"Yea! Did you think I was from New York?! I went to school in New York!," she said excitedly.
She didn't strike me as a Manhattan girl either, but she had gone to law school in the Big Apple.
"How in the world did you end up here?" I asked, referring to Moms2B.
Her response was conversation GOLD. "You have to follow your heart.... even when you don't see a way."
Wait.... did Mrs. Price just hit me with a sermon?? She sure did.
She shared with me how she knew all through law school that being an attorney wasn't for her. She liked the idea of making an impact on society, but after learning more about the court system, she found out justice wasn't fair. (Her words, not mine)
Still, she pursued the degree. Why?.... She didn't want to let her family down.
Well after graduation, Price says she had a migraine for three days. She knew she had to get out!
Long story short: one thing led to another... she somehow came across Moms2B... loved the organization's mission... began volunteering and eventually created her own paid position! Now, my girl is living out her passion and saving precious little lives every. single. day.
I left the new Moms2B facility inspired in a way I hadn't expected. Price was an unconventional success story, yet the testimony I needed to hear. Despite her family's ambitions, she knew her heart's desires and relentlessly sought after them.
I hope we all emulate the determination of Tanikka Price. Even if our goals are unprecedented, may we find the courage to generate our own path.
Until next time,