Strong-willed and determined to succeed, my mother was not only a force to reckon with, she was an inspiration to a young boy who lived life in complete uncertainty and instability. We'd been through a lot together: uprooting our lives, moving across the world to new opportunities, new challenges. We'd survived frequent ambulance rides to the ER, homelessness, and welfare. To say we were poor would be an understatement.
Aside from being a single parent, my mother was also an immigrant, and a domestic and sexual abuse survivor. She had come to an unwelcoming country, far from the support of her family, to raise a child all alone the best she could.
We survived—just barely—but we did. Together, we would overcome prejudice, racism, poverty, and homelessness. Despite all our hardship, my mother always found ways to give back to those in need, even when we were the ones most needing of help.
I attribute a large part of my need to give back to her. And, because I know first-hand how difficult it can be without someone who has your back. I know how difficult it is to get ahead. I know what it's like to feel isolated. I know what it feels like to want to give up. That's why I help where I can—in overt and covert ways both—giving back to my community and especially those who are underserved and unerpresented.
This section is an ode to my mother, where I highlight purpose projects I'm particularly proud of.
GIVE GOOD BACK
In 2022, the idea for creating pro-bono projects for non-profits began to take shape. Pulling from ten years of working with non-profits and creating a pro-bono initiative at my past agency, Give Good Back was born. Unlike the program it was built from, the goal of Give Good Back is to connect senior-level communications professionals with younger, fledgling designers, copywriters and creatives seeking mentorship. Together as a team, we develop much needed communications campaigns, strategies and marketing initiatives for non-profits in need.
The first recipient of the Give Good Back grant was Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. In collaboration with their Executive Director, Give Good Back produced a recruitment campaign for both donors and visitors to their wildlife animal sanctuary.
The campaign's goal? To attract donors seeking to leave a legacy, and to attract children and families seeking an experience unlike any other: A Wild of Wonder.
We are currently streamlining our application process. Check back soon for more detailed information.
Website coming soon.
In 2017, before the pandemic, a ragtag group of Pensacola creatives began meeting for coffee. What started as a social gathering quickly turned into an idea to bring the greater creative community of NWFL together. In 2018, that dream came true with the launch of Pensacola's first ever design conference: DesignXL. Our inaugural event attracted more than 300 attendees from across the panhandle and gulf south, and we were able to bring in notable, national design speakers to our community.
Having been involved with my Pensacola chapter of the American Advertising Federation since 2000, I had grown increasingly aggravated that many of the ADDY judges would jury the student competition too harshly, often relegating quality creative work to a Silver or Bronze award. In 2014, after one particularly harsh award year, I approched our club's ADDY chair and asked if I could pay for Silver forwarding for several students, and their work, that I felt were oustanding, but did not get the recognition they deserved. After doing this secretly for several years, word got out, and in 2020, the AAF Pensacola chapter club honored me by turning my anonymous gesture into an annual event, The Second Poore (the pun being that the event was also a social wine/beer event), and opening up sponsorship to other AAF professonal members. The cherry on top? Many of the students forwarded went on to win Golds at District level—winning out against the likes of more established, better-funded institutions from larger Florida markets.
In 2015, I co-founded Sunday's Child with a group of incredible activists seeking to bring greater awareness to the LGBTQ issues surrounding our very conservative area. Sunday's Child awards grants of $15,000 to $25,000 to area non-profits, but in order to receive grant money, non-profits must ensure their policies protect LGBTQ employees and citizens that they serve by enacting nondiscriminatory policies. Since its inception, Sunday's Child has awarded over $600,000 in grants to non-profits.
As an only child , a first generation college student, and a son to an immigrant mother, I know the devestating effects of isolation on personal and professional growth. As such, I give of my time to mentor anyone who seeks advice as it relates to career development, LGBTQ+ professional advancement, or creative skills development. Book time with me on ADPList.org.