1,300 miles is the distance I traveled to embark on a new season of my life. As I said goodbye to the New Jersey neighborhood I grew up in for over 20+ years and traveled to a new foreign land of New Orleans, I began to get nervous. On the plane ride to New Orleans, I immediately got caught up in my thoughts. Where am I going to live? How will I make friends? Would I like my job? Would my boss like me? What is Mardi Gras? Or even a Po’boy? Soon I would find out that my thoughts of the unknown would sweep me away just like the culture of New Orleans.
For the past five months, I began to think about my journey as a Newman’s Own Fellow placed at Propeller. My time spent at Propeller has taught me some of life’s greatest lessons. Propeller has shown me how to slow down, smell the magnolias and embrace the small wins that life has to offer. This place also taught me how to create authentic friendships and to appreciate my blackness in a world that tries to silence it.
Having the support of my boss and other co-workers have helped me focus on my current season. Propeller has given a voice to the young girl that felt like she lost it along this journey. I have faced several challenges at my job but having the commitment from my boss ultimately made those challenges worth it. I now have amazing allies at Propeller who are willing to advocate and teach me the ways of working at a nonprofit.
I don’t believe I have had the time to enjoy the title. So many people are amazed by my courage for moving over 1,000 miles from home to a place where I knew no one. Ever since I came to New Orleans, I have been thinking about my past journey and what life after the fellowship will look like. Instead of focusing on the now, which I have neglected. Luckily, my support system at Propeller is backing me up every step of the way. I could not have made it this far without them.
Thank you Newman’s Own Foundation for giving me a chance to truly discover who I am!
By Jodie Davis – NOF Fellow at Propeller, New Orleans, LA.