Guest Spotlight: Wynter Eddins
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
This week's guest blogger is Wynter Eddins. She is based out of Granada Hills in Los Angeles County. I met Wynter when we were both freshmen at California State University Northridge (CSUN). She is the founder of the non-profit, Simply Youth Institute. It's an organization that empowers young women through financial education and addresses generational poverty. Wynter also performs spoken word poetry as part of her platform to empower young women.
The Empowered You
By: Wynter Eddins
As a little girl I was constantly bullied and harassed for not fitting in. For being different. I was labeled as "too white." I resisted that notion. I continued to educate myself and that is how I discovered my strength and confidence. The empowered me is grounded in my drive. It is the ability to find the motivation to keep moving through my purpose. I strongly believe we all have something to give to this world, and I use the word “give” intentionally. Human beings are sharing creatures and we have to be willing to give more than we receive. We have to be willing to sacrifice. I see sacrifice as a necessary step in order to support our greater good.
My purpose and mission in life is to serve my community. I have always felt the fire in me to take on that leadership role. I have experienced domestic violence and constant setbacks in my pursuit of a higher education and career. However, these individual experiences have only forced reflection and in turn - painful but necessary growth. I felt empowered every time I imagined creating educational spaces. As result, I imagined these spaces to not only provide education, but empower young voices to stand with agency, and own it. I began my journey as a teacher in a middle school classroom. Education comes with challenges, but engaging in those challenges most certainly reaps growth. Being in front of the classroom became a natural feeling for me and it allowed me to feel even more connected as an artist. I also act, write, and perform spoken word poetry to practice self-care. Being creative is a form of release. It has become a big part of my therapy.
My greatest adventure yet is the non-profit I founded, Simply Youth Institute. My mission is to empower young women of color, like myself, through financial and wellness education. During uncertain times like these, the resources are necessary. The need for spaces where young women can come and explore topics that affect their financial well being and their overall health are extremely important. The idea being that our young people are dealing with many personal challenges of their own, and could benefit from spaces where topics such as “self-esteem building” and “credit-cards” are a normal conversation to have. At Simply Youth Institute, my goal is to address the well being of our students and how their interaction with the world will have lasting effect on how they feel about themselves.
When we are able to take care of ourselves, we create a peaceful foundation. From that inner peace is how we can see more clearly what needs to be changed. Education has to be a constant seeking well, where we drink from everyday. As a result, we can engage with one another on a mutual level of understanding and empathy. I continue to be inspired by women, especially women of color that are not taking “no” for an answer and are constantly trying to improve the spaces around them. My purpose is connected to women seeking to build up their communities by building up other women.
I want every person to know that their individual experiences do not define who they are. It is our collective actions that define who we are. If you ever feel like a situation is so bad, that it has marked you for life, I encourage you to recognize that you are stronger than anything you experience. I am a believer in God, and I believe that you are never alone in anything that you do. Believe in yourself and believe in others. Most importantly, keep moving.
If you are interested in learning more about my cause, follow the links below: