I’m a forever believer in dreams.
When I was eight years old, my mother took me to the San Jose family homeless shelter.
I remember the room in which I encountered children my age, likely born a stone’s throw away from me, who lacked a permanent home. The beige walls were in need of fresh paint, and the once-colorful floor mats were dull with age. During that visit, I joined my new friend, Ella, in thumbing through a well-worn Oh, the Places You’ll Go, imagining ourselves in each illustrated world. We both loved Dr. Seuss.
That connection awakened my desire to pursue the Ellas of the world—full of dreams, waiting to be unleashed. I imagined her thriving in my classroom instead of wondering whether she’d ever have a place to call “home.” Thus began my lifelong journey of discovering what I can do to close the gap between Ella’s circumstances and mine. Animated by my growing faith in a God who cared for the poor, I became determined to find ways to resource vulnerable communities and protect them from oppression. Because if their potential were identified and their opportunities unlocked—oh, the places they would go.
This season’s calling
It has been almost 20 years since Ella first inspired me to stand up on behalf of the poor. After an undergraduate education at Harvard, a dreamy wedding, and four years in the Los Angeles nonprofit sector, I still could not seem to shake the early conviction that my life should be intertwined with the future of under-resourced communities.
So we packed our bags and moved to New Haven to start my MBA at Yale— part of the greater plan to launch a social startup to bring mental health care and education to the world’s most vulnerable contexts. It was at the very beginning of my MBA program that Brio Fund was born, and this adventure has plucked us clear from our comfortable lives of certainty into the throes of entrepreneurship.
This is where I stand today: a co-founder with my husband, a graduate student entrepreneur, and forever committed to taking the next courageous step toward impact. I hope you’ll be a part of this journey somehow. Thanks for being here!