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Write every day: Today I’m starting a new project

This fall, I’m applying to PhD programs in sustainable urban development. I’ve identified three programs that are a good fit for me, but I’m not waiting to be accepted to begin my work. I’m starting now, today, since I already have my broad thesis question: how do we turn New York City into the most sustainable, healthy, clean, and equitable city in the world?

I’ve outlined my next ten months of study while I wait to see which programs accept me. Each month, I’ll be researching how all of the New York City agencies within each city agency category work. Those categories are: Business, Civil Services, Culture and Recreation, Education, Environment, Health, Housing and Development, Public Safety, Social Services, and Transportation. Every day I’ll spend some time doing this research and carefully cataloging all of my learnings to use in my thesis, and in my life’s work.

I can’t say that I came up with this plan alone. I often call my friend, Alex, and say something like, “I’ve got a crazy idea.” I love Alex because her response is always some variation of, “Oh great! What is it?” Alex and I were talking two weeks ago and we both said we felt like we were in a little bit of a low point. We needed to do something to get ourselves out of that. I wasn’t sure what that would mean for me, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since our conversation. Now I know. If you find yourself in a funk, get yourself a friend like Alex who is unwaveringly supportive and constantly encouraging me to be better.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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