Chrystani Heinrich has always been a champion for women. Early in life, she understood the importance of sisterhood and the meaningful connections that arise with women. In her youth, she was a Girl Scout and she believes that is what set her on the path to helping others within her own community. For 12 years she worked in Education as the Assistant Librarian at Compton High School, which is where Compton Girls Club was born. She has partnered with organizations within Compton to bring solid programming centered around educating girls and gender-nonconforming youth to Compton
What excites you about your work?
The opportunity for girls and youth in my community to learn something new. Every quarter, every month every WEEK is an opportunity to share something new with my group. Every program and opportunity that becomes available to me means a moment to help curious teenagers experience something they may not have had access to. Every meeting that I host is a chance for me to grow as a Founder and to learn something new in general. I have a sense of gratitude that has expanded in this last year, and I am really excite dto ride on that wave.
What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?
Access. I am creating fulfilling experiences for girls and gender non conforming youth to step out of their comfort zones and experience each other within their community. I am surrounded by Black Women that uplift my work and support the organization. I haven't gotten to the stage where I can pay salaries, so my network of Women fill me up and puch me to keep going. Black Women make me feel like I can accomplish anything, and that is what I need in abundance to support myself and this work.
Who do you dedicate your work to?
I dedicate my work to G.IRLS from the hood. Always and forever. I am my target audience. I live, grew up in, work in the neighborhood that I serve. I know what it is like being a girl from the hood and wanting more, and not having access to it. My Board members were picked with intention, my speakers are too. It's all about G.IRLS from the hood.
Where are you drawing inspiration from these days?
Not to sound like a broken record, but it is the truth. Black Women and G.IRLS from the Hood. Seeing women and girls take care of themselves, living in luxury, or practicing self care. Black Women and Femmes putting themselves first and dominating their roles. Those roles can be Mothers, CEO's, Students, anything against the status quo. I learn from my networks. I learn by doing and I learn through life.
What something you now understand differently with wellness?
Everything at its own pace. I cannot move faster than the universe does. There are things that must happen first, before I can move to the next step. Each step of my mission must be felt and creates the person that I am becoming. So Gratitude and patience.
What is your own wellness practice?
Wellness can be tough when your time is split between being a mom, wife, friend and CEO. I do take time to meet with my therapist, because it has been hard to separate work and private life. Balance is hard, and it is something that has to be practiced intentionally. I actually just came from a retreat in Arizona that focused on body and breath work and discovered a lot of new things about myself. This last year has been tough and I needed this break to fill my cup back up. I came back with fresh eyes and outlooks. I also set an intention to practice Gratitude more.
How can people reading this support the work you are doing?
We are always looking for folks to lead engaging and unique workshops. We also love to collaborate with companies who's missions align with ours. And of course, we could always use monetary donations to keep our work going.
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