What This Whole Deal is With Young & Free St. Louis
So as you may know, I have decided to participate in a competition this summer called Young & Free St. Louis. The prize is a job, a branded company car with gas paid for a year, and a Macbook Pro, a Canon video camera and a new iPhone that the winner gets to KEEP after the contract! These are significant prizes and this was a significant decision for me so before voting ends on Tuesday (and please vote for me! But read all of this FIRST!) I wanted to make sure that I told the whole story on my own turf, here.
I made this decision while currently employed with a little marketing agency that has become very dear to me called bigwidesky. I love my team and the energy there and this was in no way a gesture to get away from them because they are wonderful! They’ve been awesome in tolerating my exhibitionism and I appreciate how supportive they have been through this.
The opportunity was just SO compelling because of how great a fit it was for me after much deliberation, I decided I at least had to TRY.
Seriously. Really big, personal deal. Here’s a few reasons why I felt like I was dragged out by my hair to face this opportunity:
1) I do this.
Young & Free is a program developed by Currency Marketing in British Columbia, Canada to help credit unions raise awareness among 18-25 year olds’ of their (awesome!) difference from banks. They help regional CUs find a spokesperson in this age group to create videos, blog entries, manage social media and do whatever it takes to find these group of young adults where they are and get them involved. My college degree is in Technical Communications (ie: sets, video, lighting, cables, equipment, wearing black and slinking around soundboards a lot) and I’ve spent my entire professional life since college working in marketing and often with social media. And when I’m not getting paid for it…I do it for fun, anyway!
2) I go here.
Vantage Credit Union is the greater St. Louis area’s partner in this program, and they just so happen to be MY credit union. I have had an account with Vantage since they were Educational Employee’s Credit Union and my mom helped me set up my first accounts with them in high school. Admittedly, I was lured over to a big bank for a while until I just couldn’t take the hassle anymore and was looking for a change. Turns out I had the better idea to begin with! My accounts with Vantage were still open so I just migrated back to it and settled my happy butt right back in. Vantage has not ceased to impress me since I’ve come back! As an individual company they are excellent at taking care of their members.
3) I love this.
The choice to do this was a lot more personal than just remedying some hassles and snuggling with a really cute CU. A business doing a great job at whatever their business is would be nice enough, but a business doing a great job at representing an idea that I really believe in is a HUGE deal. Credit unions definitely fit the bill for me.
Sound money is something I’ve learned a LOT about in the last couple of years and the problems our country has seen with unemployment, underemployment and the rising cost of EVERYTHING is a very real problem that will continue to exert itself the worst on my own age group. Without going into the extensive manifesto just yet, I made the decision to stick with a credit union because their financial structures are basically based off of the sharing of one another’s wealth rather than relying on that of the government or whatever random stakeholders which can give the illusion of safety when there really isn’t any. With credit unions, your money starts and stays in your own community providing benefits for saving and accessible help when you need it.
…And don’t worry, I’ll tell you ALL about this if I get this gig!
4) I got…dad.
My dad told me that it gets harder to take risks as you get older and basically triple-dog-dared me to jump. …how can you let your DAD triple-dog-dare you to do something CRAZY and then just…not? No way. I will NOT be showed up in extremeness by my dad!
So…I tried. And I am now 1 of 3 finalists. All my goods have been submitted and are on display on youngfreestlouis.com under my picture and I would love for you to check them out!
I would also love to give some credit to the folks that really got behind (or into!) the scenes and really did me a solid for this month-long project:
C R E D I T S !
First and foremost, Cloud for marrying me and dealing with my crazy. If someone dared me to set myself on fire I just might and he’d be left to clean up that mess…thank you sir for all you do for me.
My parents for being the awesomest ever. Apparently with all this crazy it took FOUR of them to handle and support me and at this stage in life they’re like, my board of directors! I love you all!
Allison, for keeping me calm and helping me carry on, doing whatever she needed to support me even if that meant driving way out west from downtown to follow me around for a day!
Meg, the world’s most ferocious PR team (and also my sister-in-law!) She’s been blowing up the interwebz helping me get votes and I can’t possibly thank her enough!
Danielle for helping a sister out with some camera angles one hot afternoon in downtown St. Louis!
Judson, who skateboarded up to me at the Plan 9 skate park to loan me his Flip camera like, last month and just kinda let me continue on when I became a finalist. I’ve taken good care of it, sir! It even has its own little zippered pouch in my purse. You’ll get it back ASAP!
My wonderful cast: Josh, Kennedy, Devon, Jon, Aries, Maddie and Rob - some of you I already knew IRL, some of you I just walked up to IRL, and others of you I walked up to on Twitter and you came through for me IRL and were such a huge help, I really appreciate what you did!
And of course all of y’all have been out there tweeting, retweeting, facebooking, blogging and voting to help me win this thing. I have such a great St. Louis community and I really love you all for the help you’ve given me in this! I can’t win this without you so please keep voting before Tuesday at noon (the ballot is on the right side of the main page) and helping me spread the word!