I had always wanted to do something to address domestic violence but the first time I saw the email from Westchester about Launch1000 I ignored it. In the coming weeks though, I saw an article about domestic violence getting worse in Westchester County, and by the third email about Launch1000, I thought “This is how I can do something about it”.
That being said, I was a little skeptical when I started phase 1. I saw it was about my “why” and who I was and I know a lot of programs being offered up like this. But I decided to follow the process and just see how it went. Gradually I realized thise program was very different; the discussions were much deeper. They helped connect me as a person to my venture and it all made sense.
One more thing I noticed as I got started was how supportive the other launchers in the program were. They were willing to offer assistance in any way they could and it felt like a good environment. I noticed I started sharing and talking about my experience and my idea more than I ever had before. Since then, other launchers have offered to introduce me with donors or offered to volunteer for my non-profit when the time comes. It really is a special community.
As I moved into Phase 2, I watched my idea evolve in some really important ways. As a Real Estate Investor, my initial thought was to try to offer survivors an opportunity for homeownership. After speaking with different organizations and shelters around Westchester as well as more domestic violence survivors, I realized that having immediate access to financial assistance so that they could move was really what they really needed. I consider this the biggest pivot in my mission and it was because of the curiosity conversations that I stumbled on it.
Now I feel confident that I made the right decision in starting this. In fact, I just submitted my application for incorporation with the state. I’ve decided if I can help one mom to get out of a violent situation and give her a safer environment, then I’ll consider my idea successful because I know if I can do it once, then I can do it a million times.
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