Why I'm Excited to See CommonBond's Impact in Action Posted October 5, 2016 by TJ Blair
This is the third in a series of blog posts from each of the CommonBond members and employees who will join us on our second-annual trip to Ghana to see CommonBond's Social Promise in action. Read posts by each member and employee who is taking the trip to understand why the trip is important to them and what they are looking forward to.
Name: TJ Blair
School/Grad Year: Syracuse University, Class of 2005
What He's Bringing on the Plane: Great headphones, my kindle, and an unquenchable thirst for liquor served from tiny plastic bottles (for sleeping)
I'm excited and honored to have been selected as one of CommonBond's representatives on our upcoming trip to Ghana. With just shy of three weeks left until we touch down in West Africa, the fact that this is a reality is beginning to dawn on me, and I'm humbled by the chain of events that led me to this opportunity.
In August of 2015 I made the decision to uproot my entire existence and leave the familiar comfort of Upstate New York for a moonshot; I'd said for years I wanted to live in the city (New York City), and it was time to see if I was willing to do more than spout empty words. I found CommonBond and one of the crucial elements that made me choose to become a part of this family was our commitment to social good. For every loan CommonBond funds on our platform, we also fund the education of a child in need in Ghana through our Social Promise.
CommonBond's Social Promise resonated with me because my path in life wasn't the easiest, but I've had amazing opportunities given to me through acts of selfless generosity. My mother was a single parent and a public school teacher. She sacrificed everything so my brother, sister and I could have the best childhood possible. I got to go to my dream college purely as a result of scholarships and grants; complete strangers out there had faith that this poor kid from Binghamton had potential, that he could make something of himself if just given a chance. Acts like these and countless others have informed the core of my values: work hard and do well unto others.
I found CommonBond after years of not liking what I did as a professional, and I feel truly blessed to be able to work somewhere that creates opportunities. We lighten the burden of debt for our members, we help give children in far flung corners of the world an opportunity for a better, more enriching life, and now I get to meet representatives from both worlds. More than anything else I'm excited to go and meet the people of Ghana, to see how they live and to have some small physical impact on their lives, and to broaden my perspective on life in a way I never thought would be possible. Once again I'm the recipient of remarkable gifts, and for that I am eternally thankful.