In the past, I have hinted that there were some big changes for me on the horizon — now I can share them with you. After almost six months of living out my dreams in South America I’m returning to the United States and beginning the next chapter of my life. On October 1st, I join the dedicated team at Vittana as their community manager.
Vittana is a small organization that is starting to turn heads with their innovative approach to ending poverty by providing small loans to students in developing countries. My job is to get their story out to a wider audience and to grow a community of advocates who are passionate about changing the world.
In some ways, this is a big career shift, but to me, it makes perfect sense. I believe in Vittana’s mission of graduating a generation beyond poverty and believe their start-up styled approach is working. The work I am doing for Vittana is also a great fit too. Finding stories and telling stories with words or photos is important, but if no one is listening, those stories can lose their impact. I’m excited to devote myself full-time to finding new way to tell the world about Vittana.
In fact, I’m going to start right here. Here’s what I want you to do. Head over to Vittana’s lending page and check out their student stories. If you find a student who inspires you, help them to help themselves by growing their minds. But before you make a loan, I want you to check out the entire website. Don’t make the decision to give (or not) based on knowing me, make the decision after you know the organization. I think you will find, like I did, that their approach to helping people is one that works. Also remember that your money isn’t just disappearing. You are making a loan and Vittana loans get repaid 98% of the time.
I should also mention that Vittana is Seattle based and so I will be too, within the next two weeks.
What this means for the blog
In the last year I have had an amazing opportunity to share my life and work with readers of this blog. It has truly been humbling to see the readership grow and exciting to start interacting with new people. Now, I plan to give my best effort to Vittana and that means scaling back here.
I’m not going to make a commitment to a publishing schedule yet, but you can expect me to post less frequently. Also, the content is going to go through some changes. At this point, I’m not even sure what it is going to look like in the future but I will say this, you can look forward to lots of photos from the beautiful Puget Sound area.
What this means for me as a photographer and storyteller
I didn’t take the position at Vittana because I have lost faith in the photography industry or don’t believe in journalism any more. I took the job because it offered me the opportunity to be part of an exciting and innovative company whose mission I support with my whole heart. I’m not putting down my camera and I won’t be tossing my reporter’s notebook anytime soon. The way I practice my art might look very different in the future, but it isn’t going away.
Some people might look at my new job as a change in careers but I look at it as the logical next step. My passions have always been broad, joining Vittana allows me to stay true to my core passion of helping others and explore new areas of storytelling. I can’t wait for my first day of work and I can’t wait to share all the exciting projects the Vittana team and I have planned!