These are the three feelings that I felt immediately after being announced as the 2017 Changemaker Award winner at the Millennial Awards this past Saturday. I went into this event with no expectations of winning.
I remember receiving a text from two of my close friends when the nominations for the awards were being announced, both of whom were adamant about nominating me. They didn't ask me for a single piece of information from me, and I can't tell you what they wrote that got me to the finalist stage. But apparently when you surround yourself with people that believe in you, you don't need to say a thing.
The Millennial Awards, is part of a weekend long young professionals summit produced by The Spears Group. There are several categories of dynamic young professionals who contribute to the community through different industries and through different outlets. It was a night full of beautiful and ambitious energy.
I am dedicated to changing the world for our youth daily, so I was honored to be nominated for the Changemakers award. But to be honest, I just knew in my heart of hearts that I did not win. See, I was convinced that the Spears Group would tell the winners of the awards prior to showing up, to make sure that the winners were present.
When my name was called as the winner, I was immediately met with feelings of utter surprise.
After being surprised, I was humbled by the fact that I was selected. This truth, coupled with a group of judges believing that I should be named the Changemaker of the year, was humbling. As a public servant, I really focus on the community, the youth, and the constituents that I serve. To be recognized for what I believe is my calling is a reverent feeling.
Soon after fighting past my humbled state, I walked on the stage and was met with a sincere sense of responsibility. This weighted responsibility was strong and it made me look out to the crowd of young professional Millennials and speak to them as my peers. I asked for help with my mission to create better outcomes for our youth. I had to speak about the plight of our youth and ask for help to LOL (Love out Loud) on and with our youth. You can watch the full speech below.
I hope that you join me in my mission by loving out loud on and with our youth! And thank you again to The Spears Group for this honor! To see more images from the event, please check out my Instagram page www.instagram.com/ethancashley.