Elena is a freelance writer, digital content strategist, an advocate for social good, a runner, a cancer survivor and a dream chaser. After a successful 12 year career in teaching and educational leadership, Elena took a leap of faith to chase her dream to empower herself and audiences to make every moment matter at LiveDoGrow.com.
Elena does more than just talk the talk about self-sufficiency, empowerment and dreaming big each day. Learning to find balance and cultivate her passion is a daily journey that Elena strives to navigate. As the Director of Internal Community Relations at TravelingMom and as an advocate to social good campaigns for the UNFoundation Shot@Life campaign, ONE Moms and the American Cancer Society, the hallmark of Elena’s work is her authentic voice and ability to inspire action.
In a nutshell, I might want to be her when I grow up! Here's our chat!Most important question ever-what is your favorite children's book? The Last of the Rea, the last of the really great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. (I'll be looking that up later!)
I first heard about Shot@Life thanks to a Washington DC event hosted by a Champion and blogger, Monica Sakala, in the spring of 2012. The passion and purpose was infectious during the event.
Why did you get involved and what have you done in the past year?
After the first event, as a mom and teacher, and believer in finding ways to build self sufficiency in others, I needed to learn more and find a way to do my part. At first, I just wrote a post to build awareness, and then was lucky enough to be part of Blogust, a 31 day blog relay where we were able to empower readers to make a difference in the lives of children in developing countries just by leaving a comment.
The culmination of Blogust for me was attending the Social Good Summit, where I had the chance to learn more about the context of what was being done. Sharing the stories and learning about global health became a main focus of my blog, leading me to apply to become a formal Shot@Life Champion.
So far, as a champion, I can point to three concrete ways I have helped spread the word:1) I have met with the staffs of three members of Congress to share why continuing to support global health campaigns in developing countries are vital. Speaking to members of Congress, reminding them that these issues are important, in our hearts and our minds, is critical to keeping the conversation and efforts alive.
2) I continue to use my voice to write and amplify the issues, the stories and the need for more active support both through organized campaigns like Blogust, 28 days of Impact as well as unofficial posts and articles.
3) I empowered my daughter, through conversation to take her own action to support Shot@Life. After deciding to start a club in her class about Shot@Life, I taught a lesson to her 2nd grade class about the needs of children in countries like Uganda, where each child illustrated a milestone that they hope every child can experience in their own life.
Moving forward this year I will be focusing heavily on three ways to help spread the word:4) Fostering awareness in children will be an area of focus for me, with the goal of helping children find ways to use their own voice to support their global peers. My daughter would like to go back to Capitol Hill with me, to share her own ideas about why Shot@Life is so crucial.
5) Speaking to groups (like at Mom2Summit in early May) to build awareness and share ways to get involved
6) Raise funds through a Teammunity campaign to give more children a Shot@Life
by running the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2013
Join Elena and I by learning more about Shot@Life!