I never really knew what career path I wanted to take growing up. I kept starting in new positions, not having a “why” to keep me there. I remember my mom asking me what I wanted to do, and I just said, “I want to change the world!”
Eighteen-year-old Katie was very ambitious, but had no idea where to start. I switched my major five times in college and tried out different jobs here and there. I dreamt of leaving work with the feeling that what I was doing mattered. I felt like I needed something bigger than where I was. During my senior year of college, I decided I wanted to work in events, with the hopes of being able to create special memories for people through my work. That’s when I decided to give Booster a chance. Four years later, I realized I really was changing the world. Even better, I was doing it in different ways with each new role I took on.
I started working part-time at Booster while finishing college. What initially attracted me to the company was getting experience with events and working with kids. Little did I know - this would be one of the most impactful things I could do. I quickly came to realize that my job was all about bringing joy to students across the state. One early morning as our team finished setting up a Fun Run event, I paused and looked up. I saw students step out of their cars or off the busses with smiles on their faces. I saw them turn their heads toward the music, which revealed their field completely transformed with cones, tents, and big blow-up arches. I realized we were facilitating an event that made it one of the best days of the school year! You never know how a child may be struggling, and we get to bring joy with simple disco dance moves and air-guitar-themed laps around their field. I felt so honored to change the world through the smile of a child.
After one year with Booster, I graduated college and accepted a full-time position. As a Program Leader, I had more direct interaction with clients, school leaders, teachers and PTA/PTO members. This quickly became one of my favorite parts of the job. I spent two weeks on a school’s campus and invested my time in getting to know the school community.
Looking for little moments of celebration we could bring, we found out a teacher at one of our schools was going through a hard time. Her husband was out of work, and she had recently had a serious surgery that made being on her feet challenging. We surprised her one day with some of her favorite snacks and drinks, a signed poster from her class, and a gift card to help her family. When we presented this to her, we took time to let her students speak up about how this teacher had changed their world.
At another school, we found out a student and her family were about to move to another country. We created a memory book of her time at the school, including some pictures and her teacher’s contact information so she could keep in touch. This was such a special moment for the student, teacher, and her class as they got to celebrate this student and wish her well on her new adventure. Moments like these showed me how we were changing the world on an even deeper level by showing personal care for communities where they needed it.
Later, I moved to a new state and started in a leadership position during my third year with Booster. Now that I wasn’t on campus every day, my responsibilities changed significantly. However, one of the most special parts about Booster is the focus on leadership development. So many leaders in my Booster career have invested in me, and I was excited to now be able to do that for others. I spent time helping our team members set personal and professional goals. When I see them have breakthroughs and grow in their leadership skills, it fills my cup! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a team member get celebrated for how they have grown and impacted our team and schools. I feel so honored to be a part of their development. This gave “change the world” another meaning as I realized that this is truly how we make a difference -- by forging relationships and helping people realize their potential.
My “why” has changed with each season in Booster. Whether it’s a client getting emotional over the funds we raised during a pandemic when they desperately needed it, seeing a team member get promoted, or simply bringing a Starbucks drink to a PTA volunteer who doesn’t feel seen, I truly feel like we are changing the world. Ultimately, people will forget how much money they raised, the color of the confetti falling, or the name of the song that was played during the event. But people won’t forget how you made them feel. Though the need to change the world has always meant a lot to me, Booster has taught me to invest where I am. I have realized impacting the immediate community around us is how we truly change the world.
I’d love to hear your examples – does your job help you change the world? Tell me how!