The last ten weeks I have been blessed to work with Lutunji Abram, the founder of Voices of Effective Change. I have been inspired by her message and wanted to introduce Lutunji, not just the founder of Voices of Effective Change, but as Lutunji the strong and vivacious woman that she is. I interviewed Lutunji about her inspiration to create Voices of Effective Change, what in her past motivated her to help her clients and how she relates to them. I also asked her about the obstacles she had to conquer to get to where she is. I then wanted to know a little bit more about the woman behind the scenes when she’s not out changing lives.
K: When did you come up with the idea of Voices of Effective Change? What was your inspiration?
L: I came up with the idea of Voices of Effective Change in 2010 with the intent to roll out a Speakers Bureau. I had contacted a dear friend and mentor that at the time, resided in Atlanta, GA about the idea and invited him to be the first client of Voices of Effective Change. The inspiration to launch Voices of Effective Change is ALL that we see going on in this World. There is power in numbers and we need multiple positive, effective forces that speak truth and take action with authentic compassion in the areas of; education, health care, immigration and employment. Think about that statement and now…. add young parents, specifically teen parents to the equation. Originally, I had come up with the name “Hope International” but, in 2011 Voices of Effective Change, Inc. became incorporated with the mission to “Send The Effective Voice to the masses and be a voice for teen parents and their parents using the tools of personal empowerment and community development.”
K: How do you relate to your past, present and future clients? What is your motivation for helping those clients?
L: I relate to my past, present and future clients because I too have a voice of effective change. It’s two fold, as a creative person I shape stories around my life experience and, I gave birth to my son at the age of 16. My motivation for helping young parents is to help them overcome obstacles that I once faced. When I faced major obstacles as a teen parent I was surrounded with so many caring individuals, many who I am still in relationship with today. I always think about the encouragement and support I received and made a vow to extend my hand just as many hands were extended to me.
K: What kind of obstacles did you have to conquer to get to where you are today? What kind of motivational inspiration do you have that you want to share with those struggling with the issues of youth?
L: There were many obstacles I had to conquer and know that none of them were conquered alone. In particular, as a teenage parent I had to conquer the obstacle of working full time, attending school and taking care of my child. Yes, I have a very supportive Mother. However, my Mother did not give birth to my son, I did. With that being said, she helped me care for him while I was in school and working but she ensured that I became a good Mother to my Son. When the weekend came, Mother allowed me to hang out with friends in moderation. I did not have as much freedom as I would have liked because she made sure I spent time with my son and grew into being a responsible young parent. The motivational inspiration I want to share with young parents, is to place your child or children’s photo(s) on your fridge, in your wallet or on your wall. Somewhere that you look at every day and make a pledge that you will strive for success in every area of life simply because you want their lives to beeven more successful than your own.
K: When not spending your time with Voices of Effective Change, what do you like to do to relax? Do you have any hobbies or interests that recharge your batteries?
L: As a multi-talented individual I really enjoy reading, writing poetry, and acting.
K: Besides Voices of Effective Change, what brings joy to your life? Do you have a favorite food or cooking style?
L: The Love of Jesus Christ and my adult son, Aaron brings Joy to my life and, I absolutely love Key Lime Pie.
K: Is there any other information that you would like to add to the interview?
L: Voices of Effective Change, Inc. is on the move. Feel free to join the movement!!!
Voices of Effective Change is changing the lives of young people across the metro and is growing in leaps and bounds! Inspiring those that need inspiring, mentoring those that want to be mentored and giving hope where all hope seems to be lost. It has been my great pleasure to work with Lutunji and Voices of Effective Change and I am honored to be the first guest blogger for this amazing organization!