Today is International Women’s Day and I’ve honestly spent 4 days thinking about what I wanted to say. But nothing felt right to say that didn’t seem more self-serving than glorifying of a community of people who have truly made GBTRS what it is.
So instead of me writing something to inspire, I’m highlighting the 14 young women who have inspired me over the past four years. The beginning of GBTRS was tough, and it was a lone goal for a while, but I was blessed with a lot of these women in 2016 and even more in the years following.
To each of you, thank you and please know, none of this would be possible without you.
I have never been more inspired by a young human being more than I am by you. At 16 you decided to change an industry you barely had even dipped your toe in because you felt it was right. You constantly teach all of us in the group that age makes no difference when you want to use your voice, and I’m changed by it constantly..
Seeing you have the ability to constantly pick yourself up and create art and write so honestly has made me enjoy reading each piece you write that much more. You’re constant energy and the way you see good even in the dark things is awe-inspiring and I cannot wait to watch you grow.
Willingness to always help is one of humanity’s most underrated traits and one you have happened to perfect. There aren’t many people in the world who are able to see no task as less than them because they are dedicated to the end project, and we are lucky to have found someone like that in you.
From the moment you came up to me at NAMM I knew you were a brave human being. You wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself and I’m blessed you chose GBTRS to explore that beautiful giving gift you have and to help you explore that creative passion that you have so well developed.
Ahhh, Jed Jr.!! Your desire to help as many people as possible in the most creative ways possible is unmatched. I envy how your brain works because it is constantly producing art beyond my imagination both in traditional art forms and expressions of your personality. You are breathing art, and your want to share it is incredible to me.
My playlist queen. I cannot tell you how much I admire the work you do daily, how no matter the circumstance, you have a quick wit to combat anything negative in your purview. Your friendship and constant support has been a blessing over the past few years.
Watching you fight everyday and still want to give back to people is the most inspiring thing in my life. You constantly tell chronic illness to beat it while still making room to work on things for others. It’s amazing to me that you have that capacity but even more so that you chose to share it with the GBTRS team.
Resident TikTok influencer, you have created a new way of thinking for our team. Whether it’s the value of something we may not understand right away or the need to constantly challenge your processes and how we approach things, your mind works in a strategic way that I’ve only seen in well-seasoned professionals. I value your ability to be who you are unapologetically and to stay honest, even in the tough moments.
I am blessed just to have you in my life at all, but your entire commitment and amazingly flawless passion to make our community better everyday is unmatched. I thank the universe for you a lot because your only higher commitments than the things you love are the people you love, and I count myself lucky to be one of them.
Ahh!!! Aliyah since the moment your mom called me to make sure you would be safe during our Roadie For A Day program I knew we happened on someone special. Life can be really screwed up sometimes but you have never let that get the best of you and have continued to work your butt off to achieve your dreams. I am grateful to have been there for so many of your early career steps and cannot wait to see what your future holds.
Going to preface this by saying I truly don’t know where we would be as a team without you. Memes would not be as funny, we wouldn’t have our resident Weezer fan and our entire landscape of design and inclusion wouldn’t be the same. You think about others as if they were an extension of your person. It’s an incredibly rare trait but it’s one that is necessary to have on a team like ours. No person’s problem goes without consideration and without you, we’d miss a lot of the things we need to see.
CEO of breakfast, our mood maker, and the eldest and wisest member of the GBTRS team. You have become family, a person who I don’t know who GBTRS or myself would be without. Your leadership and calm nature have changed the trajectory of this community and of who we are as a team. Being able to bounce ideas, share life stories, woe over getting old (we’re almost 27!), and growing together as friends, colleagues and leaders has been a gift.
“Maserati Mami” — I am just the proudest of you. I will continue to (jokingly) fire you forever but I don’t know what the structure of GBTRS would look like without you in it. Seeing you come out of your shell and work for the things you want and impart everything you learn into helping others is something I never knew would change my life so much. Your opinion is one I hold in the highest of value because it’s always honest and you’re able to resonate as a person with many people who maybe aren’t the most outgoing at first but have so much passion for music. You’ve taught a lot of us that a bold personality can attract attention, but a steady reliable and trustworthy human being keeps it.
I could quite literally write a novel on how intensely important you are to GBTRS and to me. I don’t think I speak to anyone more than I do to you on a daily basis. I’ve watched you grow so much as a human being and I feel so much pride in everything you do because you want to give it back to others. You took the load of the things I couldn’t handle on. You made GBTRS what it is today. You’ve helped each of us get over creative roadblocks, imposter syndrome, the thought that maybe we were doing it wrong. You encouraged our team — and me so much — to be endlessly brave, to stick to our guns and speak our minds. Because of that, we have this community, our programs and every sign of growth is directly connected to your ability as a leader.
I value and love each of you for your endless dedication to other women and non-binary people. I live for the moments we get to see each other in real life and for every conference call we have. I value the memes, the inside jokes, the community we’ve created and the friendships that have come from this.
You’re all women worth celebrating and I am blessed to know and work alongside each of you.