Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Erica Wright is the founder of U FIRST, INC., a charitable organization dedicated to serving the homeless with the basic necessities in efforts to restore their dignity and help them to lead a healthy and whole life.
For more about Erica and U First.
Read more about The Passionistas Project.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:00:00] Hi and welcome to The Passionistas Project Podcast. We're Amy and Nancy Harrington and today we're talking to Erica Wright founder of the nonprofit organization U First Inc., a charitable organization dedicated to serving the homeless with the basic necessities in an effort to restore their dignity to lead a healthy and whole life.
So please welcome to the show Erica Wright.
Erica Wright: [00:00:21] Hi. Thank you guys so much for having me. I am just excited to be here, excited to talk about what we're doing with U First and our journey of homeless love.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:00:29] What are you most passionate about?
Erica Wright: [00:00:32] Right now, I'm definitely passionate about helping the homeless community bringing dignity back to their lives. I've experienced being homeless myself and I know what it feels like to meet someone. Sometimes your ego will allow you not to want to reach out to people. And so I just had a great group of people around me supporting me who pour it back into me even in the time of need. And s o the spirit has never left me. And even at a young age I've always felt like we could always do more because of the things that we have and so it's just been a passion of mine and to just give back to those in need.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:01:04] How does that translate into what you do for a living?
Erica Wright: [00:01:07] We do so many things that you U First. The passion is just not for our homeless community but as for those who are in need. So, it could be our children, who are in need with school supplies. Food. But my passion of helping the homeless community by keeping them clean is to put together these love acts we call them and they're just simple necessities of life like a washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, the things that we take for granted. And so it packaging these items and giving those to the people in need whether they're in shelters or under the bridge. I have a phrase of I believe everyone has a seat at the table. So Why not be able to get up in the morning and feel that love and sense of belonging, just from a small kit like a love bag. And that's truly my passion to do that. Put a smile on someone's face.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:01:52] How did that journey start? What was the seed of the idea to start doing this and how did it develop?
Erica Wright: [00:01:56] About 10 years ago, I saw this lady under the bridge, literally using a bottle of water to wash her hair. And It was cool that morning and I could see the steam coming from her head and it never left my spirit. I went through a bad breakup and I knew that I had a purpose and a passion and I needed to birth something. And so, August the 7th, 2014, I woke up from a dream and God had given me a vision. And I was like Paul, I just wrote out all of the things that were going to come forth with helping people and the name U First came about. And so, I didn't know what it was going to look like I didn't have any money and didn't have any credit and I had a blueprint. So, I heard this whisper, truly from God to use social media. And so what I would do, I spoke at Sunday school about my passion and my dream and my vision and two ladies from Sunday school started bringing hygiene items for the love bags. So I was able to put the kits together and that's how it started. So once people started getting engaged, with it I post it on social media and I would say, "Hey thank you Miss Jackson for donating two tubes of the toothpaste." And It just became contagious people from all over the place, I mean different states would just send items. And it's just been it's been amazing.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:03:11] Tell us where it started, location wise, and how you've expanded it.
Erica Wright: [00:03:16] U First was birthed in Atlanta, Georgia. That's my hometown — born and raised. I have, this year, have been so about 19 different states. I had an opportunity to come to L.A. about three years ago and when I saw Skid Row, I just stood there and I cried. I could not believe that people were living in such deplorable circumstances. Not just people of my age, There were children men and women. It is just heartbreaking to see that. So a part of my journey this year, I wanted to really see what the states for doing, The little cities, different pockets, and what they were doing in their community and that I could bring back to the city of Atlanta and preferrably other places as we continue the journey. So right now our home base is in Atlanta. We work out of a storage unit there and sometimes we may have three storage units depending on the resources that we are able to obtain and put those items together. So We do not only hygiene kits, we do socks, blankets. We have different corporate sponsors, who make sure that we have things that we need to put into our kits. So hopefully next year we will branch out a little bit more in the L.A. area. Our goal is secure RV so that we can travel from different states and bless people at where they are.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:04:25] Talk about the accomplishments that you were able to make in 2017 and your goals for 2018 and if you've met them.
Erica Wright: [00:04:33] So last year we did over 220,000 blankets that were donated from Delta Airlines. So we touch lives in the shelters and people who live under the bridges. Also this year, God gave me a awesome number of a hundred thousand and I was like, "What Am I going to do with that?" And so the goal this year was to do 100,000 hygiene kits. And so to-date, we've done over 85,000 kits. Next year, of course, we have to go. So you know when I take it to the team and I say, "What do we think about 150,000?" I'm sure they're going to say, "Erica go sit down." But we're definitely looking to change more lives.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:05:11] What do you need to reach your goal?
Erica Wright: [00:05:22] We definitely need the resources. We depleted our inventory basically. We drove from Atlanta to New York in October. We did 18,000 kits. That was the largest number, the second drive we did. The first drive we drove from Atlanta to California and we did 11,000 kits. So right now storage is a little strained. We're asking the community to donate those items that we have on our wish list through our website which is ProjectUFirst.org. Again people from different places send items through to our P.O. Box. And so every second Saturday of the month, we come together and put the kids together. So always looking for volunteers, always looking for people who would like to maybe just write encouraging letters to the homeless and we'll put them in the kit as well. And so we have had people from Indiana just send those letters. But We're just always looking for people to get involved and to help give back. And it's U First that's what we do put people first.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:06:15] Tell us about the Love Lives Here event that you held this fall.
Erica Wright: [00:06:18] The Love Lives Here, it came to me of course in one of my awesome dreams about 3:30 in the morning when I wake up and I'm like oh my God, so what does this look like? So part of the Love Lives Here tour is to meet people where they are. One of the things that I've learned with doing this work is that people have a perception of what they think being homeless means and it is a broad, broad statement when you say homelessness. And so for me, I wanted to, again, meet people where they are and show them love where they live. And so that's why we call it the Love Lives Here tour. So again we drove from Atlanta, Georgia to New York City again dispersing over 18,000 hygiene kits. And we stopped in every state. We stepped in every state along the way. We actually had a chance to sit down with CEOs of different shelters to talk about how they got into opening up the shelter and what does it look like for their state — you know the population and so on and so forth. So the Love Lives Here tour, Once we were able to just start taking a journey from when we came from Atlanta to California, it opened up our eyes that this thing is really serious. Like We're experiencing so many of our LGBTQ youth, who run away, Who just don't know how to come out and present. And so these kids need safe places that they can go. But then there is the politics of the whole homelessness situation where, youth or a certain age that some states can't technically have a shelter for them. And so you run into all of these roadblocks when it comes to political this or that. And so I think it's important for us to really just sink into where people live. They are under the bridge and this is their circumstance right now, whether they know to do better, either through mental illness or they want to do better, I just think that we should have the resources to be able to help them where they are. That's why we call it Love Lives Here. We just love people where they were.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:08:12] Are you finding any politicians along the way that are being super supportive of your mission?
Erica Wright: [00:08:19] That is something that I'm still in search of. We do have support in Atlanta. Of course, being raised there I know a lot of people of course use the social media and people just see what we're actually doing in a community has spark some conversation from our city council and those who work close at City Hall. But at the end of the day it's one of these markets, there are a lot of people who are giving back in a city like Atlanta, so it can become saturated and you can kind of sometimes get looked over. I myself talk about doing this work and I am not a heterosexual male, who has a family, who's able to just have that seat automatically at the table and I have found it a little challenging you know presenting as a gay person to be able to kind of tap into other avenues when it just comes to just helping people. And so I would like to see a little bit more support, not just in the homeless communities of the shelters, but those people who are actually, the grassroots organizations who are out on the ground, who are out here every day making sure people are fed and have the simple necessities of life. So, of course, I would love to see more politicians get involved in this effort to help people get off the streets.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:09:31] Would you ever get into politics yourself?
Erica Wright: [00:09:33] It was funny I was just talking about that yesterday. I don't know but I do know when I started this I didn't know what it was going to look like. Now that I'm in it, I'm in it to win. I believe that we all have a fight in this to whatever your justice is whatever that is. And so I won't rule it out to say that I won't rule it out. But if there's something that I'm considering doing I would love to be able to do it from the standpoint from where the people are, from not the inside out but the outside it. And I think that that's what's missing right now in America. We have a lot of politicians that are working this way and not understanding what the people need and hearing the voices of the people. And I think that that was something I would consider. I was started that way.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:10:21] So you said you're in it to win it. So what would winning look like to you?
Erica Wright: [00:10:26] Winning to me would look like every homeless person that I've ever seen liked to come off the street that they would have a place to do that. And oftentimes, even just doing his work this year with the Love Lives Here tour going to different places, we were able to have conversations with different people. We're talking about doctors and lawyers. And we're talking about nurses. We're talking about students. And so there's no face to it. You know it's not about race. It's not about your gender. It's not just about your sexual orientation. It is just that, your misfortune or you know we were just talking about the fires here in L.A. These people now are homeless. The work that we're doing right now is to support people where they are. So in it to win it for me is not where somebody could tell me what I can and can't do. Well I've had people say you can never get grants just for health and hygiene items. Well, I don't believe that. And guess what we need them but we didn't just write off them. But to tell me that I can't do something when I see people who are living in situations that, a lot through no fault of their own, so what's happening is am I supposed to tell someone that you have a bite that I don't have Neosporin for you or if you need something, you're hungry and I don't have food for you. So I believe that just having someone to be able to give those people who are experiencing homelessness what they need, that's why I fight. So I want to win at helping them get exactly what they need, where they are. And I won't allow people to tell me it can't be done because in the last four years we've been able to do it and do it with no grant money so I'm definitely in it to win it.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:12:06] What can your average person do to help the homeless and also what do we need the politicians to do? What changes need to happen?
Erica Wright: [00:12:14] On the home front of the politicians, it's a stroke of a pen is a stroke of a conversation, it's just striking up the conversation at the table with, again, the people who are out doing the grassroots work who are having the conversations, the tough conversations. And then seeing what the people need. For instance, when I first started I was given people on the street luggage and they would say, "Do you have a book bag?" And so you know you identified where they are and what the needs are. And so I think that's the beginning of that — having a seat at the table with the politicians to say, ,"Hey, we're doing the work. Why are you cutting this funding?" Also we have a lot of children who go to school who are homeless. We have to start there as well. If you have kids that are coming and they're not able to eat. They don't have proper school supplies. All of that trickles down back into the homeless community growing because of education, because of lack of jobs, Because of this. And All of that starts with the politicians at the table. And so what we look for in the community to help, I often tell people you don't have to give money, especially if you don't have it. But just that if I'm making a sandwich in the morning maybe I'll make two or you cut off a section of that and just have it on the seat. I mean if you encounter someone, just you know politely ask if they would like something to eat or you can do hygiene kits on the front of your seat, socks, nutritional bars. And that's another part about what we see in the homeless community because they don't get what they need, we see a lot of people who are suffering from diabetes, mental illness, and they're not getting the medication that they need. Just the simple things like maybe clean needles for diabetics. And so again all of that plays a part of someone being whole and healthy so that they can be productive citizens and to get back into society. And you can just start with a hygene kit. Because If you're not able to groom yourself, then the trickle down effect of your health can just be something that can even prolong your ability to get off of the streets and into society.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:14:16] You mentioned that you've had your own experiences being homeless but what have you learned about a lot of the people that are on the streets that either has surprised you or might surprise people listening?
Erica Wright: [00:14:30] I never thought in a million years that I would tell this story. I came from a great home. Two loving parents, sisters and brothers. I'm a barber by trade, so great career. And I just fell into life. And so even through my experience I think the hardest thing for me. Everything was a trickle down effect. I lost my health insurance. I have been diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety. And so I couldn't get my medicine. And so it was just a downward spiral from being here to just here. And so for me it took everything I had, every day, just get up in the morning. And I wanted to commit suicide. I wanted to die. And I got up one morning off the floor in the office where I stayed and I saw this lady sleeping in a cardboard box and it was raining. And so for me God me the vision that Erika you know different from the lady behind you. The difference is you just have a covering over your head. And so in having different conversations with different people knowing my own struggle with mental illness I would say probably ninety-five percent of people who are on the streets have some type of mental disability. I think for me just anyone with a normalcy about themselves and have to experience certain things at some point, battle depression or something like that. And so just having conversations with those people who are in need, you see through that. You see through that wall and see through that barrier because it was you, it was your story. It might not have been this. It might have been that. But at the end of the day you can kind of resonate with where they are and that's how you want people to see you as a person and not your experience of you're just not defined in your location or where you live. So it is very hard to see people who are not able to articulate what they need and where they are based on their mental status. And so this is again where we need the politicians to come in to have that tough conversation. So how do we get someone off the street who has mental illness? How do I identify and how do we not cross that red tape to what we can and cannot do? And I think at some point people have to make a decision because these people are experiencing this. They're walking around in our community and we have a blind eye to it. And I think that we have to do a better job of identifying it and also what can you do legally to get people off the street and get them the help that they need. And I think that's going to be probably one of the challenges that I can see facing you know for anyone a politician or any a grassroot organization because you just can't take someone's rights to take off them the street.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:17:19] You talked about not feeling motivated when you were battling depression and it seems like what was your lowest point. But now you seem like your boundless energy for this cause. What do you do on days when you don't feel motivated to do it?
Erica Wright: [00:17:33] You know to be honest there are a lot of days that I struggle. Depression is real you know. And a lot of people follow my social media and they're like, "Oh my God, Erica, you're always so bubbly so cheery." That's what gets me up in the morning to know that I'm making a difference in someone's life. And the people that have come in contact with U First — the volunteers, the donors, the well wishers — it's justbeen amazing. It's just been an amazing journey. I've met so many different people, who just, they have the same spark. So just to know that they're even putting the kits together and they may not even give it to someone but just the part that they know they have a place in this organization that they can help someone. It's just been amazing. So those are the stories that make me get up in the morning and once I get out of bed and I know that I'm about to go out and feed someone or give out socks or go to a school and speak. Just to inspired someone, that's definitely what drives me to keep moving. And the winning situation, what did it look like if we had shelters here when we looked like we had an opportunity to drive from California to Vegas. And I'm thinking about all of this land out here like we shouldn't have everyone just saturated in this dense populate dense area. You know so much out here we could just use it. And why not? I've seen it even in Oklahoma, they have a huge shelter where I say it, whatever your it is. If you have HIV, women with children, men with children, families. They had a place for everyone who's even you want to sleep there. You're just coming in for a shower. Whatever your group activities are, they had something for everyone. So when you see something like that in another state you think why can't this be across the board. Even with this whole thing was what's going on with the war, everybody's so divided, you're either a Democrat or you're republican. To me what happened to humanity? What happened to people? What happened to love? What happened to seeing my neighbor get up and be all that they can be? I mean, When did we stop just loving and being energized of people in itself? So Yeah, I get that.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:19:49] What's the biggest challenge? It sounds like the whole thing is a challenge. But what's your biggest challenge?
Erica Wright: [00:19:55] Of course, resources. Definitely money. Finances. Just this year with over 80,000 hygene kits, we did it probably with less than thirty thousand dollars less than $30,000. And basically all of the inventory that we got in was donated. So I'm often amazed at how we do things with the amount that we have. But I'm also energized because I can imagine what we could do with a hundred thousand dollars so resources would be number one thing that we would run into that hurdle.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:20:29] Have you ever thought of giving up?
Erica Wright: [00:20:30] Oh my gosh. Yes. There was one day I was going to throw in the towel. And of course by being a barber by trade I would do mobile haircuts. I have a guy who's in a wheelchair. So this particular morning I was like I'm just done, I'm done. So he wrote me a check and I left. And I had 20 dollars in my pocket. And so I saw this lady a homeless lady. She had all of her cans and bags in her shopping cart. And I said you know what I got some luggage in my trunk that somebody donated. I'm out, I'm going to give this out and I'm done. So I pulled over and I got out of the car, spoke to the lady and she was kind of talking a little bit out of her head. And she came over to the back of the car and she said, "I knew you were coming." And I said, "Excuse me." She said, "I knew you were coming." She said, "You know somebody stole my luggage last week." And I was like, thinking to myself, "No, I don't even know you." And so, I started to cry because when I opened the trunk, I had the luggage. And so it was as if God had sent an angel to to to say to me, "I have your back." And so right before I pulled off the Holy Spirit told me to plant a seed and give her the 20 dollars. And I was like no way I got to get gas, I got to take care of this, I gotta get something to eat. And so I turned around and gave her to twenty dollars. And she looked at it and she kind of started talking out of her head a little bit. And she turned around to me and looked me in my eyes and she said, "When you get your 501c3, doors and windows will open up beyond anything you can imagine." And I knew then that that was God's way of letting me know that I will always supply your needs and not to worry just keep doing what you're doing. And I cried, she cried. And I said, "God I never give up. I will never throw in the towel." So, that was one of those incredible moments in my life. Never forget it. Never Forget her.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:22:22] What's one lesson you've learned throughout the time doing this that really sticks with you?
Erica Wright: [00:22:27] The lesson that I've learned is to be open. Never be closed off. There will be people that will come and help. There will be people that will come and pray with you and pray on you. And I'm still learning. Again It didn't come with a blueprint. So I think my biggest challenge is, because I don't have the business blueprint to go with it, I'm often asking a lot of questions, going to different seminars, trying to figure out how do we sustain this is. It's not something that we're just doing for now. Definitely have a presence, not just in the city of Atlanta and Californian but we want to go global. And so along with that the challenge for me every day is just to dig into what I know and stretch my hands a little bit to what I don't know. And so far it's going pretty good. Can't complain.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:23:18] And what's been the most rewarding part so far?
Erica Wright: [00:23:20] Oh my God. To save people's faces, conversations, they will never leave my spirit. I have so many different testimonies, I can't even begin just one. I think the children definitely play a big impact on my heart. There is an innocence about a child and there's a different innocence about children who don't know about student loans, who don't know about foreclosure. They don't know that you know mom is having a bad day. They don't know that I am sleeping on one side of the shelter and my brother has to sleep on the other side because he's too old and we don't have enough family unit. So to see a child running your car to get a sandwich or a Bandaid or just whatever they need and to just play and hold right where they are and just don't even know that they don't have a place to stay, a room to go in. Those are the things that stay in my spirit. Those are the faces that I see in the morning. Those are the faces of sleep if I'm going to sleep. And I definitely want to keep doing what I'm doing.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:24:26] Looking back on your journey so far, is there one moment that you can think, that was really courageous of me and it totally changed the path that I'm on?
Erica Wright: [00:24:38] I came to LA and I was supposed to go to Rancho Cucamonga. And I thought, "Okay, well I'll just ride the train." When I get to the train station, it was closed. So I was standing outside of Union Station at about 3:30 in the morning. I was like, oh my God. I'm in a place I don't know and I'm outhere, what is like, what do I do. And so I sat down on a bench and I saw all of the homeless people walking around, moving with their cars. Aand I'm saying, "It's 3:30 in morning. Like why not sleep?" And it hit me how this whole community of people are maneuvering and being, while we're asleep in our comfortable beds and it just hit me like this is a real. Although It's a hygiene kit, it opened up the door for so many different avenues for me to see people where they are. And so the next morning when I got myself situated I had to come back to being a station and I saw the people laying in a park. So a lot of times I hear people say well they're lazy they need to go get a job why is sleeping in a minute a day. Because they're up all night because of the abuse and being raped and molested. It's just so much that this community is embedded in and dwells in. And so for me to see that, and then to see them out open because they don't want anyone to mess with their belongings because that's all they have. And so that night, morning was something that would never leave my spirit and I know that it made it impact on my life to continue to do what I'm doing.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:26:28] You've mentioned your mom a couple of times. Tell us about her and what lessons she taught you when you were young about what women could and couldn't do.
Erica Wright: [00:26:37] Oh wow. Well my mom was a stay at home mom. And I just thought she was Superwoman. She could do everything. She could cook. And she took us to basketball practice. And she was also a giver. My family, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, they would adopt a family from Family Children's Services. And we would go and drop off the Christmas items and I would go home and I would look up under my tree and I'm like, "This is not fair." Like how could I leave this lady and she has all these kids and I have so much. But my mom, her strength is, is incredible. She's 80 years old right now but I still see her do things that a 20-year-old can do. But she has truly made an impact in my life to giving and opening up. And she's always taught us to be us and be givers you know and just love people when they are. I love that about her.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:27:27] Have you had any mentors that have helped you grow U First into what it is now?
Erica Wright: [00:27:34] I'm going to be real honest. I think the people that I met on the journey, have all been a mentor and some some form or fashion. I've met people who had their own businesses to housewives to men who were just saying, "Hey, let me help you pick that up." And so it sparks that conversation to something else. "Oh, that's a great thing you're doing." "This happened to me." And I think those stories are the ones that make an impact in my life. I do love the stories of the Tyler Perry's people... I had the opportunity to meet Tyler Perry some years ago at the barbershop that I used to work in. He would come in and get a haircut. This is before he had any movies. And so he had a play he would bring these tickets and he would give them to us. And I remember going to the play and I was like, "It was okay." And then he stopped coming and I was like, "Oh my God, he used to come in the barbershop." So the stories that I hear about like Tiffany Haddish, who slept in her car. I get it because I believe in the law of attraction I believe in living your life with intention in your purpose and your vision. So I could hear in a little piece of her story in me when she talked about how she slept in a car outside of this mansion and said, "I'm going to live there." And so I have a couple of things in my phone that I'm praying that will happen for me. But it starts with that, just that dream.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:28:51] What's your secret to a rewarding life?
Erica Wright: [00:28:53] The secret is prayer, prayer. I am definitely, definitely, definitely in love with God. That is my secret. I know that I could not have done the things without God. And the experience of the vision that he gave me just to be in his presence. To be sitting here right now and talking about a passion of mine. Something that a lot of people don't take the chance to just step out on faith and do it. They're not willing to say, "I'm going to give up. I'm going to sacrifice to do this." So for me prayer and just knowing that God would do it.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:29:34] Do you have a mantra that you live by?
Erica Wright: [00:29:37] It is what it is and I like what I like. And I don't like it.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:29:44] What advice would you give to someone who really wants to help but just doesn't know where to start?
Erica Wright: [00:29:50] I would say do your homework, do your homework, Read. Just kind of have a visual what you would like to do and then try it just do it. I'm always open to people who say, "I can't do this. I can't come physically but I can financially contribute." Okay, well let's look at it differently. You don't just have to do monetary you can do a gift card for maybe McDonald's that we can give to some kids who can have after school lunch or something like that. So it's so many different things it's just really opening up the door first of all to let people know that they're welcome. A lot of times we hear other big groups, people can kind of get lost in that big corporation. So they go and volunteer but they don't get the fulfillment they need. So by us being a small group, people are kind of able to pick and choose the time. Well I don't want to do this. I Don't want to put the kits together but I just want to walk around and talk. And I just invite everybody to just come on out and how.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:30:46] And how can people specifically help U First? Where do they go? What Do you need from people right now?
Erica Wright: [00:30:53] We have a wish list on our website which is ProjectUFirst.org. Also we have a like page on Facebook. We have a group on Facebook called the Project U First. and we're on Twitter — ProjectUFirst, as well — and Instagram. Also on the wish list through our website, you can you know, if you want to send items to us, so if peple like to buy like a gift card, all of those links are on there .And we're definitely in need of, again, the items that we have printed on there. Just coming off this last trip has depleted our inventory, so we could use those items.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:31:29] What are you proudest of in your journey so far?
Erica Wright: [00:31:32] Connections. Connections. To see people connected. The people that I've met along the journey and now they're connected. We're a family. The U First team is truly a family and is from different make ups in life. We often use different websites to get people to come from different corporate sponsors like Delta or CNN. The employees will come and it will just take that one person to go back and say, "Oh my God, we did an amazing thing. We put fifteen hundred kits together last week and we took them to the shelters." And so once they come they interact with each other and then they exchange numbers. And also to see people use technology. Social media is free, well some are free, but if you use it in an effective way it can be your best friend or it can be dangerous on the opposite side. But I think social media and just being able to have a wide platform from people from different places. And then we're engaging as one. So I definitely love to see people come together.
Pop Culture Passionistas: [00:32:36] What's your definition of success?
Erica Wright: [00:32:38] I'm still learning that. Because sometimes I feel as if there's so much for us to do. And time waits for no one. And I believe that every day that we get up. And we're able to breathe we can do something different. So for me success is every day. It's every day that you're able to get up and make a difference in someone's life. Do something. What did you learn today? And even as an adult, I'll say, "I don't know if I should've done it." But I think definitely, every day success is a successful story.