There was a time during the early development of ETR where the enormity of this vision would overwhelm me. Sometimes I would have fear that I wouldn’t be able to pull this off. I would wonder how I was going to find the people that I believed would support an endeavor like this and who would want to be part of our Team. Of course there is also the obvious monetary expense of building and establishing an organization of this magnitude. And to be honest, if anything was going to stop me from putting everything I am into getting Earth Tribe Ranch off the ground, it would have been the fear that we would not get the monetary support that we need.
So, with my belief that people are inherently good, and knowing in my heart that the world needs a place like ETR, we moved forward with the trust and faith that we will find the right people to join our efforts. That great leap of faith has led us to some of the most beautiful people I have had the opportunity to meet.
It all started with ALLY Youth Services. When I was doing the research on homelessness among young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, I came across the website for ALLY. Knowing that ETR would be in Colorado, I had always felt that we would work with them – in some capacity yet unknown. Either way, this was an organization that I wanted to connect with.
We reached out to Chris Senesi the Operations Director of ALLY and after sharing our vision with him, he named some people that he thought we might want to connect with. One of the names on the list was Timothy Stoakes of Peg Rider Foundation and his recommendation was high. So we reached out to Tim and made arrangements to meet.
On May 5th, less than 4 weeks ago, we met with Tim and our relationship developed quickly. We immediately began working together and it has been an absolute pleasure and joy. Things have been moving at a great pace and on May 29th we began a series of meetings with people and organizations that we might partner or work together with. We truly believe that we can accomplish great things but we will do it by uniting with others who can see our vision and help us to bring it to manifestation. It’s a team effort and coming together as human beings intent on making a difference is what it’s all about.
As it turns out, we have pulled together a truly awesome team and our meetings over the last several days has helped me to feel confident that there are others out there that will champion our vision. On Saturday, we met with Fred Hanna, PhD who is a professor of Counselor Education at the University of Northern Colorado and Renee de Alba of Courage to Change. We spent a great afternoon getting to know about these wonderful people. We had great conversation and lots of laughter. In the end both Fred and Renee offered to be members of our Advisory Board.
Later that same day we met with Eric Wirba of the African Research & Exchange Academy who is a friend of Tim’s. We shared our vision with him and he gave us some great advice and insight on how to proceed with fundraising. Just another great connection.
Our final meeting of that day was with Michael Johnson of Balanced Earth Creative. We met Michael through our recent connection with Tracy Halward who has come on board as our Sustainability Director. Michael has 25 years of experience in the energy industry and tons of knowledge on sustainable energy in particular. But what Michael is passionate about is working with young people and reconnecting them to the earth and nature. We were also fortunate to meet with Alyssa Menard who is part of Tim’s Peg Rider Foundation team.
The next day was finally the opportunity for us to connect with ALLY Youth Services. We met Anna Pirone and Chris Senesi, the founders of ALLY and we had an instant connection. I was saddened to hear that Anna and Chris had not been able to find organizations to partner with. Their experience other like minded organizations has been that rather than work together for the greater good, there is a sense of competition having to do with finances and limited funds for all of the organizations to do their independent work. It was great to get that insight from them and to prepare ourselves for possible resistance to ETR from other local agencies. But as always, we will do our best to bring organizations together that can help and benefit each other.
After our meeting with Chris and Anna, we all met with Arturo Bencosme, PhD of Epic-Spirit, LLC and Karen Alonge, both of whom are members of Peg Rider Foundation Tracy Halward of ETR joined us as well. It was a great group of people and the conversation was lively and engaging. We are all mutually passionate about the work we intend to do to help others and the rapport was instantaneous.
So this blog has gone on longer than I intended but in the end, what I wanted to express or convey is that people have come into our experience that are willing and eager to partner and/or work with us. It has been truly incredible to feel the support of so many. I am filled with gratitude for having crossed paths with these inspiring people and know that we have their support in bringing Earth Tribe Ranch to it’s goal.