By Temimah Zucker, Tikvah V'Chizuk
When I first began my journey at Presentense, I was a frazzled, tired blonde with a mission in mind and the gumption to take down anyone who came in my way.
Most of these things haven’t changed. I am still determined, generally tired and overworked, sometimes frazzled, but I have to say that my sense of humility has deepened and expanded.
At the onset of my journey with PT, I had one thing in mind: my venture. I walked through the doors of the 86th Street Synagogue on the day of speed interviewing holding stamina in one hand and my go-getter attitude in another. I believe in Tikvah V’Chizuk and in my mind, all I had to do was be myself and show why Presentense needed to help me.
Apparently it worked.
As I approached my first meeting with the group (unfortunately I had been out of the country for orientation) I remember feeling somewhat unsettled. Being accepted for the fellowship was so personal, and here I was having to share this personal experience with 11 other people.
You could say that I was that bratty kid - I felt like this was my show.
My hard work at creating what I had of TVC coupled with my hard work at life made me feel like I’d earned this little blossom of joy that was my fellowship, and like my inner child I wasn’t sure that I wanted to share.
Until I walked in the door of that first meeting and reality punched me in the face (my bruise is still healing).
Here I was, one person with one idea. An idea that I’ve been nourishing for about a year. And here were 11 other people, with blossoming ideas, who impressed me beyond belief.
We did a quick “get to know you” at the start of that first meeting and I recall feeling unsure about some of the ventures. That is, until my fellow fellows began to speak about their projects: their passion and enlightening ideas blew my mind and I found myself scolding my inner child: these people are amazing, I was blessed to be in the same room as such profound, innovative entrepreneurs.
From that first meeting it was a brisk uphill stroll. Not only did my 11 peers have brilliant ideas themselves, they had brilliant ideas for me! While TVC is my baby, I welcomed any and all criticisms and thoughts and here were 11 kind, funny, creative souls to share feedback in the most supportive of manners. They helped me view my venture in ways I hadn’t known to exist.
We’ve met for months at the end of our long workdays, piling in and sharing organic snacks, but it has been such a pleasure because not only have I learned tremendously with regard to my venture, but I’ve been surrounded by such wonderful people. We laugh and whine together, occasionally spilling tea and asking way too many questions. But the entire process has been fun and educational.
As fellows we’ve formed somewhat of a family and I’m proud to say that I’m among these wonderful people, and perhaps was a minuscule part of their processes throughout the Presentense journey.
Thank you to my fellow fellows for not only giving me amazing ideas and laughing with me over my Starbucks names, but for being such a fundamental part of this eye opening process and teaching me lessons we won’t ever learn on a Powerpoint (those have been priceless as well!)
To continuing this journey together, and supporting one another through the launch of our ventures and beyond!
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.