Entrepreneur & Co-Founder at Shared Harvest Fund
What do you do and why?
am a social impact entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of Shared Harvest Fund (SHF), an innovative online platform that pairs skill-based freelancers who provide highly sought after pro bono business, health, legal, social services, and other talents to our nonprofit organizations within the Shared Harvest Fund network of individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. By completing project deliverables for our nonprofit partners, Shared Harvest Fund will give you a student loan stipend ranging from $250-$1000 per project directly toward your student loans.
While SHF is my life’s work and focus, I am in fact a board-certified Emergency Physician who came to Chicago to train at the University of Chicago. In my work, I have seen and personally understand the mental and physical stress that feeling hopeless can cause. Most of the anxiety and stress affecting my patients stemmed not only from physical afflictions but also from financial instability, especially for people working in fields they may not otherwise have chosen if they didn’t simply need the money. Though volunteerism can help combat some of the depression and isolation feeling hopeless can cause, volunteerism rates are in fact down, while the gig economy is thriving. Shared Harvest Fund came from a genuine desire to tackle the despair and isolation that so many professionals have felt when facing often insurmountable amounts of student loan debt, despite having worked so hard to earn professional degrees. Doing this while simultaneously tackling declining rates of volunteerism and increasing social impact, is a pure win-win situation!
What change would you like to enact in the world?
I would like to see other professionals remember that their work has so much more value beyond their paychecks and the board room. By helping to provide a pathway to achieving the financial freedom and utility to take back their time, our busy Debtfreelancers™ are re-investing in their communities and we’re providing a simple thank you for that sacrifice. Our growing company provides a national stage to highlight the initiatives of our nonprofit Changemaker partners and with 44 million people with student loan debt, provides a sustainable model to provide human resource capital to ensure their mission success. Helping nonprofit organizations in the US and abroad complete their initiatives to help those in need, can create a sustainable, life-long commitment to social impact for our Debtfreelancers™ and has exponential potential to reach so many.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
In my spare time, I enjoy having dance parties, sometimes dressed in our best princess costumes, with my toddler who is quickly taking after her mother when it comes to loving to dance and just be silly!
Why did you join IVY?
I joined IVY to get back to having more exciting and meaningful experiences and remind me to stop working all the time and enjoy life because there are PLENTY of things to do! Between work and home, actively seeking out amazing experiences became a thing of the past for me. Having the convenience of amazingly curated IVY events at my disposal means it is easier to get out and do more with no excuses! I love meeting new and exciting people and networking with people from all walks of life and felt that IVY would allow me to do just that.
What has been your most memorable IVY Experience?
One of my first events was helping young aspiring professionals practice their job interview skills at a volunteer event with an amazing organization, Horizons for Youth. It is always a treat every time I am able to slow down from behind the scenes at Shared Harvest Fund and volunteer on a personal level, especially with children, doing something that I love and that feeds my soul on so many levels. I am pleased to see there is a volunteer component of IVY and am looking forward to these and other fun events allowing me to meet other members.
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Legislative Aide to the Florida House Minority Leader, Representative Kionne L. McGhee