The idea seed for this company began, as most do, with a conversation with a friend. Every July my high school and college friends get together for a typical summer weekend in Michigan; floating on the lake, drinks and campfires. During our July 2013 weekend, fellow education advocate and ResourcED Co-founder Scott Secrist and I spent a lot of time talking about the state of education in our country as a whole; the good the bad and the ugly.
“Are we complainers or doers?...let’s start a student support company” – me.
Our mission? To give every student the support they need to reach their highest personal potential. During these talks, Scott, who is now in his (3rd…4th??) year of a doctoral program in Higher Adult and Lifelong Education tied our mission into the importance of college academic reediness, supports for 1st gen students that span their college career, and bridge programs to help prepare students for life outside of the cuddly embrace of high school. My focus (obvious to my blog readers) connected heavily to social and emotional learning for students, especially in elementary, implementation of character building skills in the classroom and wrap around services for every single student, special education and mainstream alike. We scribbled ideas on napkins sitting at my mom’s kitchen table, laughing (and drinking), ultimately attempting to create a “product” that could give children the support they need to be rock star citizens. A year later, after countless phone calls, Skype meetings, and meetups (Scott moving between East Lansing, Michigan and Rochester, Indiana and me eventually packing up my life in Dallas, Texas to move back home) we had a pretty solid snap shot of how we wanted ResourcED to look.
In July 2014 the conversation began to become more concrete, taking the formation of what is now ResourcED. In September I was home and we were on the ground. (I’d say “on the ground, running” but it was more like a steady jog, or a fast walk….) Cut to two years later, ResourcED’s snap shot has evolved tremendously. Our approach is different today, our focus has narrowed, but we hold fast to our mission and with every decision made think “Does this help give every student the support they need to become educated, resilient, successful human beings?”. Yes? Proceed! No? Please roll again.
I’ve learned too much in the last 2 years to put into one blog post. Yes, of course this includes info gained from continuing ed courses, conferences and guidance shared by my mentors. But many of the things that have changed for ResourcED and for me since ResourcED’s inception, have been picked up along the way – through trial and error, through experience, and through failure. The last two years doing what I love has taught me:
Ø Owning your own business means you’re a 24-hour, 7 day a week innovator
Ø There’s this thing called payroll tax and it needs to be filed quarterly
Ø The closer your businesses mission connects to your life mission the better
Ø LPC’s in Michigan still have a long way to go regarding their inclusion as support professionals for public education
Ø …accountants are necessary people, taxes…there’s a lot of them, they appear random, but they must be taken care of
Ø Ideas that come at 3am are often the best, write them down
Ø There is a lot that I don’t understand about Education Policy
Ø …I’m not the only one that doesn’t understand Education Policy
Ø Not every day/week/month is a great day/week/month
Ø Failure is necessary; allow it to teach you
Ø There’s still more to learn about my little puzzle piece, and I want to understand more about how it fits into the bigger education picture
Ø Patience and time mixed with hustle is the key
Ø It’s so important to celebrate the victories
And more so than ever…
Ø Change is inevitable, adapt or perish
Thank you to all that support me, guide me and encourage me to do what I do. I still vision ResourcED in startup mode, and I’m excited to see what the next two years has in store for us.