By Claire Osburn
Lately I’ve encountered a new phenomenon when people ask me about my job (one of the top two questions asked of a recent college graduate—based on my personal research—right after the infamous “so what are you going to do next??”).
When I start explaining to them the work that SA2020 is doing, they always start to ask questions. The more I tell them about SA2020, the more excited they get. San Antonio locals who’ve never heard of SA2020 start to get this humming glow about them when I start to talk about the vision, the community collaborations, the data, the website, and how everyone can find a way to make a measureable difference directly related to their personal passions.
As a freshly-college-graduated new member of this “real world” that everyone keeps talking about, it’s difficult for me to narrow down my passions to one or two areas (“let’s do all the things with all the people every minute all the time!!!” – me, every day). However, I am acutely aware that much of my enthusiasm can be attributed to the education I’ve been lucky enough to receive throughout my life, and the encouragement I’ve always gotten to learn perpetually, as much as possible. And I firmly believe that education includes more than just books and math—it includes learning about music and art, about relationships, about the places you live, the people you share the world with, and how everything connects. Education is my SA2020 passion because education is what has made me so passionate about the things I value in life, and it’s given me the skills to keep growing.
Once I’ve answered the job questions (or when they want to shut up my excited rambling), people invariably respond something like “wow!” or “what a cool organization!” or “you are the most amazing person I’ve ever met! You will inevitably succeed in everything you try to do for the rest of your life!”
Ok, maybe that last one is just in my mind. Possibly. But I still have to sit back and consider how lucky I am to be involved with something as uniquely exciting as SA2020. A movement designed to bring together all the passionate people in a city and unite them toward common goals for the greater good? Is this real life?
You may read my last couple of sentences and think “gee, that all seems a bit idealistic.” And you may be right. I’m still in my twenties and still tend to believe that problems are fixable and goals can be achieved. But based on the amazingly talented people I’ve met over the past few months who are devoting an impressive amount of energy toward making the SA2020 vision a reality, I can’t help but believe that ideals might just be a necessary fuel for real progress. And I haven’t even met everyone yet.