Today, we are proud to come together to celebrate five years of driving transformative social...
Inside Change Often: Our Creative Outlets and Inspirations
Beyond the spreadsheets and meetings, the Change Often team is full of individuals who play and listen to music on the weekends, take dance classes while abroad, and find creative ways to use their voices. Welcome to Inside Change Often, where the journey of making a difference is a colorful canvas painted not only with impactful actions, but also with the vibrant strokes of artistic expressions. Get ready to dive into the firsthand details about our team’s creative outlets that inspire and uplift us all!
Dance has always been an integral part of my life. From a young age, I have been captivated by the pulsating beats and rhythms that effortlessly ignite my body, guiding me to create mesmerizing shapes, graceful lines, and captivating stories through movement. With each dance, I embark on a cultural journey experiencing the richness of is place of origin, its people, and their cherished customs. I've learned to Hula in Hawaii, Jig in Atlanta, and Jarabe in Mexico. But dance is more than a personal passion of mine. I love its extraordinary ability to bring loved ones together, creating an atmosphere of pure joy at weddings, reunions, and parties. The sheer happiness dance brings to my life is contagious, and I am driven to share it with others. From my early years, dancing has been a constant companion, propelling me to join dance teams in middle school, high school, and college. Coaching high school dance teams as well in my past, has been a rewarding experience, witnessing the growth and dedication of aspiring dancers. To this day, I continue to nourish my love for dance by taking local dance classes, not only to stay in shape but to infuse every week with a sprinkle of pure delight. Dance, with its magic and universal language, has become an integral part of who I am, a conduit for joy and a source of boundless inspiration.
My artistic outlet is being a sound technician. I have a deep love for music and this is my way of expressing it. The sheer joy of manipulating sound and creating an immersive experience is what keeps me hooked. Whether it's a live performance or messing around in the studio, the art of sound engineering allows me to express myself. Whether people notice what I do, or they don't, it still brings me joy.
I've never really categorized myself as "artsy," but I've always admired artsy people and their work! I used to think I was too rigid to be creative, however, I've found solace and peace in doing artsy things. I love painting (even if it is already outlined) and most days you can catch me singing. Recently, within the last 3 years, I've combined my creative desires with my hope to use my voice to help others. I created a podcast, Who Gon' Check Me with Kayla Quick, which is about being unapologetically you, while being set straight. I talk about restrictions, struggles, and lessons in life and how to deal with them and how to stay true to yourself whilst being yourself. As long as you check yourself and you’re content in your choices, who gon' check you? Starting a podcast had been on my mind for a few months before acting on it. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it felt like the perfect opportunity. I can almost feel myself recording my first episode in my VISTA housing with little knowledge on what I was actually doing. I get the same feeling every time I slip on my headphones and turn on my microphone. I'm very proud of this art. My art. Between creating the graphic content for my podcast, editing the audio, and thinking through topics, my podcast is my creative project that makes a way for my inner-artsy-self to breathe, take risks, and have fun doing something I'm good at with no outside restrictions!
Sailing... Takes Me Away
If the 1980 hit song by Christopher Cross came to mind when reading that headline, you may have a sense of why sailing is both a creative expression and a source of inspiration for me. I was born in Greensboro, and my family moved to Carolina Beach when I was 14. Before learning to drive, I learned to sail a 16' Hobie catamaran. Sailing became a passion, and I came to love teaching my friends to sail. Not only were days spent on the water great fun with my stepdad, they were full of exhilarating sailing! On a Hobie, you're a foot above the water on a trampoline or "hiked out" in a harness, leaning over the side of the boat, water spraying in your face, and it's super-fast. At no other time do I ever feel more connected to everything around me - the wind, the waves, the sun, the tide, the salt air, and the people on the boat. It's this feeling of being connected to nature and the people I'm sailing with that continues to inspire me to be on the water. Since those days, I've since spent a lot of time on larger boats, sailing in many different places, but one thing is constant. My close friend with whom I've sailed for many years, calls it "that smile" - it's the expression of calm serenity that shows up on my face the moment we get underway.
Music illuminates my path, guided by a rhythm that beats in my soul. Raised in a household where music reigned supreme, both my parents being Ministers of Music in the church, I discovered my calling in percussion. Those jam sessions with my family and the reverberating church beats ignited a lifelong love affair with music. Middle school led me to the concert band, refining my skills and forging a deep connection to the art. High school took my journey to new heights, joining T.W. Andrews High School's Red Raider Marching Band. As drum captain, I led not just in tempo but in fostering leadership and the pursuit of excellence. These transformative years laid the groundwork for my musical voyage. College at Howard University added new layers to my passion. Embracing the role of Drum Captain in the university's vibrant ensemble, I fine-tuned my skills and fostered a sense of unity that elevated our music.
Returning home, my role as a Percussion Instructor resonated more deeply. Through music education, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of mentorship. Empowering young musicians not only nurtured their talents but also opened doors to a world of possibilities. It was a revelation that the impact of music extended beyond the notes – it could shape lives, sending students to college, and fostering success stories. Today, as I share musical experiences with my sons and still contribute to worship services as a drummer from time-to-time, I'm reminded that music isn't just a pastime – it's a catalyst for transformation!Curious to witness the rhythm of my journey? Explore this video of my former students.
From Tiffany's graceful dance steps that bridge cultures and generations, to Corey's mastery of sound that brings music to life, and Cyril's rhythmic journey that illuminates his path, every note, brushstroke, movement, and beat tells a story of individuality. Kayla's podcast embodies the courage to be unapologetically authentic, a testament to the power of using one's voice for positive change. And in Rod's seafaring tales, we glimpse a deep connection to nature and camaraderie that rejuvenates the soul. Together, these stories remind us that creativity is not confined to traditional artistic forms—it's an integral part of our existence, nourishing our spirits and enriching our shared journey of making a difference.
As we continue to navigate the waters of change, let us be inspired by these expressions, finding our own avenues to infuse life with vibrancy and purpose. Just as our team members have shown, each brushstroke, beat, word, and sail holds the potential to create ripples of transformation, touching lives and illuminating the path ahead.