The following story was written by Michaell Gaspar, a sophomore at Cristo Rey High School in Minneapolis, who is in his second year as a Jostens Renaissance Education Intern.
“We started Find Your Grind to help empower kids to feel like they could go after their dreams, find something they were really passionate about, and develop that into a meaningful purpose.” –Natasha Barritt
The Find Your Grind Foundation is a non-profit organization with one goal: help kids achieve their goals and dreams. In an interview with Natasha Barritt, one of the co-founders of the Find Your Grind foundation, we asked her about the Find Your Grind Foundation and how it started. She said at first it was a small scale project helping kids with what they had and over time it grew with the help of her friends. At each of the 47 Jostens Renaissance Find Your Grind Tour stops, $5,000 scholarships were given away to help kids achieve their future goals. The winners were nominated by a friend to receive a $2,500 scholarship. To reward the idea of community and paying it forward, the FYG Foundation also gave a surprise $2,500 award to the person who nominated the winner.
Winning these scholarships can be very exciting and helpful. Lamont Hall is a very artistic person who attends Pocomoke High School in Maryland. He enjoys visual art, playing guitar and helping others. He was nominated by a close friend who he has known for a long time and was surprised when he found out. When asked about how he felt he said, “It really came as a surprise but I was grateful. The moment when they read what Gracie had wrote about me at the event was a humbling moment. It was pretty amazing to get the scholarship because I was just starting to fret about how I was going to come up with the money and, almost like fate, it fell into my lap. My grandmom would say it was God and maybe it was.” He plans on using his scholarship money for his tuition, housing and art materials and other expenses when he attends Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Lamont loves art, music and helping people and hopes he can be an illustrator or a graphic designer.
Another winner of a Find Your Grind scholarship was Grace Blessington a high school senior from Wisconsin. Grace is going to major in fashion design and wants to be a creative director. In an interview she said, “My mind was just blown and it was just really cool because I knew everyone else in that room was also a student leader and to be recognized in front of that audience is really, really, awesome.” Grace hopes to use the scholarship in order to pursue her dream job, “I want to have a job where I can be working with a lot of interesting people and just be interacting in an environment that is created of film, fashion, and photography. I just don’t want to really be limited and I think that is my overall arching goal, obviously I want to pursue fashion but also be in a space where I can create using all my passions together.” Grace used the scholarship to buy a MacBook to help her with her portfolio as she was applying for schools.
DJ Bonds is another Find Your Grind scholarship winner who attends Anoka High School in Minnesota. DJ was nominated by his teacher and felt happy and proud to have been nominated. He said, “It meant a lot that he chose to nominate me from the many students in our Men’s Group Class.” DJ hopes to continue to help others and wants to be a successful businessman. DJ used the scholarship money to help a family in need this past Christmas season, as shown in this video:
Later this spring, Find Your Grind will be releasing a career development curriculum for schools, with a mission to educate students and teachers to the possibilities of tomorrow. The curriculum encourages youth to think critically about the life they want to lead and the things they are most passionate about. From there, students can see what is possible. To learn more, visit findyourgrind.com.