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In the pause: 4 Stories for New York

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 10.02.29 AMThe documentary screening of 4 Stories for New York gave me hope for our country and our collective sense of humanity during a week when it was sorely needed. The documentary follows four young people who we commonly refer to as dreamers. They were undocumented and Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) has helped them to get on a path through DACA to gain their proper paperwork.

I had to fight back tears watching the documentary, and then I learned that the four young people were in the audience with their families. They came here looking for a better life, exactly as my ancestors did, and these young people want to go to college, find jobs, and work hard to improve their lot in life and make this country the best it can be. I couldn’t have been more impressed with their bravery, dignity, and determination, and with the work that VOLS does to help the neediest people in our communities.

As individuals, we have an opportunity and responsibility to build up our country. Please don’t stop fighting for justice. Please don’t get discouraged by the hate, racism, sexism, and every other horrifying -ism we read and hear about in any one of our non-stop communication channels. There is far too much work to do. There are far too many people who need help. Don’t get distracted by ignorance.

Collectively we can make an enormous difference in the lives of others. Things will change, and they will change because of us. Keep fighting the good fight. It’s absolutely worth it.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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