What do you do when life gives you lemons? Make Mala Necklaces!.
At Connectopod, we say, "Turn needing into leading." Our new friend, Enjoli Ferrari, embodies that mantra! Literally, she has "leader" in her job description at Tree People where she is the Youth Leadership Manager.
Vicky Benitez (10) leads the team, Angelica Benitez (13), Daniela Catalan (13) and Cuicani Lopez (7). They interviewed Enjoli in the room where tiny seeds are planted in tiny pots for students to bring home and care for. This turned out to be the perfect setting to learn about Enjoli's project with her mom, Nicole, who is homeless and suffers mental illness. Most people would be broken and bitter after a start in life like Enjoli's. But Enjoli's story shines so bright it will light up your heart.
You can hear it on the Connectopod podcast stream.
Enjoli is Wonder Woman, Ghandi and Glenda the Good Witch all rolled into one.
Connectopod works with youth living in challenging situations, be they financial, social, or cultural. One of our goals is to connect them with mentors who have gone through challenges and made it through not just to survive, but to thrive. We know the road ahead may be hard for them to navigate. We wish to inspire and encourage our kids to forge their own path to a bright future. She endured a difficult childhood of abuse , separation, and foster homes, then made a choice to create a life she wanted.
Too tough for kids?
You might think such tough subject matter would be too hard for kids. One thing that kids who live with challenge have in spades is empathy. They see loved ones struggling. They feel the effects of those struggles. They know what it is to not be in control, or not be able to change circumstances for those they love. That is what you hear in this episode. Empathy. Connection. Inspiration. As much as Enjoli mentors the reporters, they comfort and validate Enjoli. To be honest, I was blown away by the depth of the exchange.
The journey from bitter to better.
Enjoli has found a way to reconnect with her mom, on Nikki's terms, and make up for lost time together. Mala beads and meditation opened up a whole new world for Enjoli. Now she and Nikki are creating a whole new world together, by creating and selling mala bead necklaces. They use the funds for pocket money for Nikki to purchase essentials and to go out to dinners and celebrate special occasions together.
Small seeds grow into big trees.
You can visit Enjoli's page in our shop to buy a love infused super charged mala necklace for its beauty alone or the added bonus of adding depth to your meditation practice. Did I mention we have an online shop where artists donate their art to fund connectopod? This time we get give. 100% of the proceeds of the mala necklaces from our shop go to Enjoli and Nicole. See? The seeds of love she planted are already growing! Thank you Enjoli. We're rooting for you!
And as always, if you want to donate your time talents or treasure to Connectopod , visit our support page.