Worth the Change?


By: Ashley Hillman
Community Collaborations Director

Change often scares me. I’m quite fond of my routines and my structure and of the way I’ve always done things. (It works, right?! Why change it?) Stepping outside of that comfort zone sometimes makes me anxious. I often forget that it’s not until I DO step out of my comfort zone that life becomes more full, more meaningful and rich—very rich.

My husband and I took a trip to Guatemala a couple of years ago to do some volunteer work, and neither of us speaks Spanish very well. Not very well at all, actually. As the plane was landing in Guatemala City, I remember thinking, “Have we made a mistake?” While it most definitely wasn’t the most relaxing trip, it was by far the most eye-opening, humbling trip I have ever taken. The experiences that I hold near to me from that trip have helped shape my worldview and have enriched my life in a way that staying at home never would have.

UWSL has embarked on a transformation that is opening new doors for more meaningful and aligned collaboration within our community—providing fertile ground for growth and change. This is different from the way UWSL has done business in the past, and with most new ventures, it can be a bit uncomfortable. I don’t think challenging the status quo has EVER been easy. But then I think about what our lives would be like if the status quo had never been challenged, and that scares me even more.

Just as trying falafel for the first time or maybe training for a triathlon or even learning a new language can be frightening or daunting, pushing that comfort zone has amazing impact on an individual. UWSL’s transformation to commit wholeheartedly to a collective impact strategy—to not only help a child beat the odds but to improve the odds for ALL children—can have an amazing impact on entire communities. It’s a step into something that may be a bit unfamiliar and perhaps even a little uncomfortable, but the results might just blow our minds! I’m ready to take a deep breath and to see just where this particular venture and challenging of the status quo might take us…I think it could be life-changing.

One Comment

  1. I agree with you Ashley. Change is usually always hard, but the results are also usually satisfying. My hope is that our whole community will embrace the new direction we are headed even though it will be more difficult for some than others. Time will tell the difference of the impact we collectively have made on our community.

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