Fearless. Giving. Empathetic. Kind. These are the characteristics of one Jen Band – Executive Director of Playing for Others (PFO). We’ve gotten to know Jen and PFO over the last few months. From that first cup of coffee we shared at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse in NoDa, we both knew that she was put into our lives for a reason. Jen is the kind of person that gives you that “You will change the world” feeling and you believe it. Her sincerity is refreshing and something we all need more of in this world.
Playing for Others is an organization that “provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in Personal Development, Service and the Arts.” The main focus of this non-profit is to develop teenagers into the thoughtful, compassionate and accountable leaders of tomorrow.
We love how PFO addresses the very questions we should all be asking ourselves everyday, “Who am I?” and “How will I give of that?” Taking time to reflect on your purpose in this world is one of the many reasons we love this group. Later this year we will be given the chance answer the question “How will I give of that?” when we speak to the PFO leadership committee about social media and how each of them can be thoughtful media practitioners.
Recently, we joined several other people who believe in what Jen is doing at a PFO Gratitude Dinner. We were treated to a five-course food and wine pairing at the lovely Café Monte in Southpark. The evening was a beautiful showcase of the incredibly talented teens in the program. Singers, slam poets, writers – PFO has it all.
Now on the surface you may be wondering why #thesavageway, a sustainable media company, is spending time getting involved with PFO. However, for us it is simple. It’s not about “what will we get in return,” it’s about aligning ourselves with companies who are doing impactful, positive things that we want to stand behind. What Jen has created at PFO is the exact type of organization that we want to support.
We believe in everything this group stands for – empowerment, confidence, leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity! We’ve left every single encounter with the PFO team feeling that we could make significant changes in the world. There’s no issue too small, no dream too big, and if you believe you can make a change – you will!
One of the most powerful talks from Jen that we’ve heard was that morning over coffee at Smelly Cat. It was her story, her journey from taking this little idea and turning it into what it is today – PFO, a successful non-profit that is directly impacting over 80 teens per year, over 30 children with disabilities and countless local charities.
Jen’s story is so powerful that the forward-thinking folks at TEDxCharlotte thought that other people should know about it too. Jen took the stage on October 24 and ignited a spark in every person in the audience.
“Today. Today is yours, claim it. This life is yours, live it,” stated Jen as she recited her Grandfather’s inspirational poem.
One of our favorite statements from her talk was, “If you’re going to jump, you might as well leap. See when you jump, you get to good. But when you leap, you get to great.”
More here: http://www.tedxcharlotte.com/live-jen-band
We are beyond excited to have a hand in such a positive, motivating venture. Jen has created something truly powerful. Do yourself a favor and check out their next event. You might just leave with the confidence to leap, and we mean truly leap to your potential!