Much like my colleague, Ginny Hoyle, Director of Communication and Outreach, I absolutely believe it was the “universe stuff”that brought me to UWSEI. The opportunity surfaced at a time in my life when I least expected it, but at time when my internal guidance was most open to it!
I have long been guided to help create outcome-based solutions that address the barriers of poverty, always driven by a call to action. When I entered the nonprofit community in late 2007 at Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency (SEICAA), I knew instantaneously that this line of work is what fuels my human spirit, in the way I had always imagined a harmonious work/life balance would be.
One day, completely unexpected, I woke up with United Way on my mind, curious if they had filled the CEO position. The thought carried into the next several days and I knew my internal guide was telling me the thought meant something, something big. I made a call to a colleague to inquire if the position had been filled, to my excitement, it hadn’t. I knew in the moment; the stars were aligning to put me on the next path of my journey, and I put my name in the hat! The best way to describe the unexpected “universe stuff” is simply, when you know, you know!
Moving away from everything I had known for 15 years, with a prestigious organization and moving into another well-known and respected community leader organization was quite possibly the scariest, yet most exciting (or “nerva-cited” as my daughter says), thing I have done in my adult life. Knowing and having had opportunities to work with the insanely talented and committed team and Board at UWSEI over the years, helped eased that fear!
I can’t believe it’s already been just over a month since I walked into the office, with this amazing team! I wake up every day filled with excitement, optimism, and an open heart for what is ahead on this exciting journey!
The days are flying by, and it feels so naturally that this is the way it has always been! The team and I have quickly found our groove together and though we will experience challenges as all businesses and organizations do, I know we will preserve and find the opportunities in those challenges, because this team dynamic is unlike any I’ve experienced.
I firmly believe the collective vision and roadmap to improve outcomes for children, families, and individuals is stronger than ever.
Of course, strategy alone will not take us there, it will become reality because of the fierce commitment of the people who work for and support UWSEI’s efforts. Our stellar team and powerful partners have the courage and willingness to embrace change with an ever-present, “stronger together” mindset.
I believe the immediate task in front of our community will be to turn the adrenaline-fueled momentum activated in the early phases of the pandemic, into long-term advantages, through cultivating resilience and re-examining personal resilience and that of the team’s. Asking ourselves if we are doing all that we can to come out of the crisis a stronger community. Ignite the stamina we need to get there by reframing the assuring language that got us to today, “together, we will get through this”, into the actionable language for a more successful tomorrow, “how do we get through this together”. I have absolute faith we will accomplish this and more. After all, it has been proven time and time again through the impeccable track record of the southeastern Idaho communities to stand and live united and rise stronger from any obstacle placed in our paths!
“We rise by lifting others”
one of my favorite sayings comes to mind when I reflect on how truly grateful I am to live and work in this amazing community!
Pocatello’s Shantay Bloxham, who has more than a decade of experience in leadership at Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency, officially started as CEO at United Way of Southeastern Idaho on June 6.