Kickin’ it with Sidekick: Stefanie Crispino
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Meet Stefanie! She is the Director of Corporate Engagement at BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada). BGC Canada is the largest child and youth-serving organization in our country. They operate nationwide, aiming to provide safe and supportive environments for young people, where they can explore new opportunities, overcome obstacles, and develop essential skills for success.
Stefanie's responses clearly demonstrate her strong belief in the power of community and her commitment to uplifting the communities around her. This is evident in her role at BGC Canada, her motivations, the lessons she has learned, and the materials she consumes.
When Stefanie shared her responses and photo, she mentioned that she selected this particular headshot because "ice cream makes me very happy, and so my smile in this one is genuine!" We believe that the world could benefit from more individuals like Stefanie. Take inspiration from her story and check out her responses below!
1. What are your sources of motivation and inspiration? How do you stay motivated/keep your cup full?
Working in environments that foster a profound understanding of the potential for a better future through community and collective action is what drives me. Recognizing and leveraging my privilege, power, and agency to collaborate with others in order to make a meaningful impact is what motivates me to get out of bed every morning.
I strongly believe that the role of a leader, regardless of their title or positional power, is to listen to, advocate for, and uplift those around them. Witnessing this principle in action, both in myself and in others, fuels my motivation and inspiration to continue pushing forward. Power, knowledge, and access should be shared freely and openly, without any conditions or limitations. Naturally, I gravitate towards individuals who hold the same belief.
2. Do you have a personal ethos that helps guide your decisions and choices?
Many of the decisions that have shaped my life have been guided by an internal assurance or intuition rather than a structured thought process. This intuition is rooted in my core values, which encompass community, collaboration, communication, integrity, sharing, transparency, and authenticity. When something resonates with me, it is usually because it aligns strongly with these values. Conversely, when something feels off, it is often because certain values are being compromised. While I am mindful not to impose my values on others, I recognize that in order to thrive in any situation, I must find ways to act in accordance with my values. When that becomes unfeasible, it often signifies a lack of fit or signals that it is time to move on.
3. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on your journey so far?
Despite the deeply ingrained conditioning we receive, it is crucial to recognize that titles, power, money, and other forms of "status" are merely artificial constructs that we have been led to believe hold significance. The more we fixate on pursuing these constructs, the more we drift away from our true selves and from the well-being of the larger community. By understanding that the well-being of the collective surpasses our individual pursuits or interests, we open up the potential for both individual and collective happiness to flourish.
4. What books/podcasts/documentaries/pieces of content has greatly influenced your life?
These days, one of the most influential teachers in my life is Tricia Hersey, known as the self-proclaimed Nap Bishop. Her book, Rest is Resistance, had a profound impact on me from the moment I discovered it.
Her work offers a deeply honest examination of our contemporary society, which remains entrenched in damaging systems of white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, and capitalism. Through her work, I have gained a clearer understanding of these systems in tangible and practical ways. Importantly, she has helped me recognize my own complicity in perpetuating these systems, especially as I reflect on my involvement in what she refers to as "grind culture." I now understand this culture as another manifestation of neo-colonialism and oppression. Confronting my role in this uncomfortable reality is essential, as it allows me to embark on a journey of seeking new ways of being, particularly within the working world, that contribute to less harm.
My hope is that Tricia Hersey's prophetic insights resonate with a critical mass of people, forming the foundation of a movement capable of instigating positive change in our society.
Stefanie's approach to life and work, and her dedication to driving positive impact is truly inspiring. Stay connected with Stefanie on LinkedIn to keep up with her latest updates. Also, make sure to follow BGC Canada and witness the incredible work they are doing.
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(Photo description: Portrait of woman smiling and holding an ice cream and spoon.)