I came to know about TL Made earlier in 2014 when I was going through a hard time. I met with my (now) best friend, a sister in Christ, Camille who introduced me to TL Made. Working with the social enterprise has really changed my life. It makes me feel good to work with very patient people like Soo-Lin (our TL Made Creative Lead). She is very patient with the artist’s such as myself when she is teaching us new stuff in the studio. Working with City Impact has been a blessing. It’s a place where lives get transformed by knowing more about Jesus Christ. My absolute favorite thing to do at City Impact is community outreaches, annual conference, and meeting up with my discipleship group through the church. I’ve learned a lot at TL Made by learning different skills I didn’t have before.
I have a new passion that I’m starting with a group of friends. We are starting a non-profit social enterprise business to empower women in Kenya. My future goal is to look for a full-time job and attend school to pursue my dream career.
I’ve spent a very long time in this amazing ministry. I started as a student at SF City Academy, which I then graduated from there and moved on to volunteer at the Rescue Mission. After volunteering for so long, I became staff at City Impact working for TL Made – a non-profit focused on creating jobs for the artists in the Tenderloin community.
When we first engaged with this project, we knew our goal – creating works of art such as painting, candle-making, screen-printing shirts, and making journals to perfection. It took endless failures and mistakes but we pushed through it all to finally put down a formula, which made things easier to execute.
When it came to recruiting artists there were a lot of challenges. As for myself, working as a team was hard for me. I’ve never had people rely on me as much as working for TL Made. Working with mix personalities was harder. There were a lot of amazing artists who came and left due to their perspective on fairness, which made them leave. I’ve learned through this that when it comes to working as a team, we must compromise and welcome everyone with open arms because every individual has a strength that can benefit the team. Even when things seem unfair, it’s best to remain humble and learn to be the person you don’t want to be. A true team is defined by their dedication to each person. As a pastor once told me at a very young age that always stuck with me is to “never kick a man when he’s down instead, you need to lift him up.” That is exactly what we do at TL Made. We are a family that loves and I’m thankful to have experienced such powerful love and affection. I’ve gained such amazing friends that accept and appreciate me for who I am and that is more than a blessing. For me, that’s kind of a miracle.
Being a part of TL Made was an amazing experience and a great journey. I’ve gained so much value in my relationships with my friends. I know that I would have not become the person I am today if it wasn’t for SF City Impact. Thanks to this organization, I’ve grown with a heart and seek out a burning desire for a new beginning in my life.
I started as a volunteer at City Impact after I heard about them from a friend in Minnesota. I’ve never lived anywhere besides Minnesota and thought it would be a good experience to expand my network and do something different in my life. The good thing about the situation was that my mom already lived in Oakland so I would have a place to commute back and forth into the city. I led worship at the Rescue Mission and loved the people who worked there and the people who came in to be blessed. Half-way through the summer, my friend through City Impact told me about TL Made after seeing my artsy Tom shoes I painted.
I fell in love with what Amanda Phelps, Allen and Ayaka Lu started with City Impact. After meeting the artists and founders, I began to help out for the rest of the summer. In August of 2013, I left to go back home to switch my major from nursing to graphic design. My mentor back home encouraged me to pursue this field because of my artistic ability to create and be creative. In September, I received an email to be on staff with the ministry. I told them I needed time to think and pray over this decision. In December 2013, I made a trip out to San Francisco to be on staff with TL Made. I officially started in January 2014 and ever since then, it has been quite the experience working here. I’ve met so many wonderful people and I wish I could give a shout-out to all of them. They’ve all been such a positive influence on my experience here and in my personal life. The relationships I have developed at City Impact are relationships I will keep for the rest of my life.
My current goals are to continue my education at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in graphic design. I also want to maintain good health by staying physically and mentally active in the city. And for the future, I’m looking forward to starting a new non-profit social enterprise with friends I came to love to help and empower women in Kenya. More details will be exposed once we get the ball rolling on that. As for now, I want to continue to follow God’s calling in my life by learning every day what it means to totally surrender to Him.