| it happened! |

Friends.

It finally happened! We are officially a 501c3 non-profit organization and I couldn't be more excited! If I'm honest, I've wanted to give up so many times, but the comments and the community truly kept me going. I just couldn't let the lies continue to make a home in your hearts. We're kicking them out harder and more passionately than ever and I'm SO EXCITED for the future. Look out for our RELAUNCH in January  2018!

Thank you for your love and support.

-Ainsley B. 

| Un-Likeable |

Un-Likeable

 

by Gregory Henn 

 

 

 

The other night, sitting alone in my room, I experienced one of the darkest moments of my life.  It came without warning, and caught me completely off-guard.  You see, I had just posted a photo to Instagram; no big deal right?  Well, one minute turned into five.  Five into ten, and eventually ten into thirty.  Normally, there wouldn’t be a problem with the passing of time, but accompanying this was something worse; an unusual silence from my phone.  I kept refreshing the app to make sure the network wasn’t experiencing issues.  It wasn’t.  It was then that the ugly truth hit me square in the face…no one was going to like my photo. 

 

Now, you’re probably thinking I’m being over dramatic here, and I know I am.  The photo eventually got its first like almost an hour after its initial posting, and all seemed right in the world.  So…great.  Problem solved right?  Wrong.  I was still very bothered.

 

Be honest with yourself.  Don’t you notice when things you post don’t get “liked” right away, or only by a few people?  Doesn’t it confuse you why some posts get a lot of attention and others seem to pass by under the radar?  Doesn’t it just make your skin crawl that kids in junior high receive hundreds of likes from their friends, and yours won’t even give you the time of day?  (Sorry, that was a bit of a rant…now back on topic!)     

 

As I sat there in utter confusion at the poor performance of my picture, a lot or questions went through my mind.  Should I delete it?  Should I try and post it again later when I assume more people are going to be active on Instagram?  Should I give it a punchier caption or maybe even a hashtag or two to draw in more likers?  Why aren’t people liking this?  And more importantly, why don’t people like me?  After asking myself that last question, I froze.  Something had just clicked in my brain, and I knew I had to sort through it.  

 

By assuming from my low numbers that no one liked me, I did something very dangerous.  I instantly linked my identity to my social media status.  I was no longer myself.  I had become someone people didn’t think very highly of.  In that moment, I believed a lie.  A lie that said my sense of value and worth was directly proportionate to the amount of “likes” I received.  And since I received so few, naturally I was a loser and not worth much in the eyes of my so-called “friends”.  It really hurt.  

 

I’ll be honest.  I’m not the most popular guy on social media.  If I’m lucky, I’ll average, around 20 “likes” on my Instagram photos.  On the flipside, I follow people who easily get an average of 500-1,000 “likes” on everything they post no matter what it is.  Are they better at photography than me?  Not necessarily.  Do their high numbers make them better people than me?  Certainly not.  But at times it’s hard to not feel like it does.  If only I was cooler, I’d have more followers.  If only I was better at photography, my pictures would get more likes.  If only I was more important in the eyes of the world, my life would be a lot better.  We can laugh at the triviality of such thoughts, but I believe that they are the predominate feelings going on in a lot of young people’s minds when it comes to social media.  What a lie this is.

 

Maybe this reminder was only for me, but I would wager a guess that other people get this feeling too.  Maybe its low reader numbers on your blog.  Maybe it’s a lack of traction when you post about certain topics.  Whatever it is though, the Internet is affecting all of us in extremely different ways and sometimes these can be very negative.  I have heard that people even choose to take social media “breaks” because things can get so overwhelming.  To be completely fair though, social media isn’t the enemy.  Much like money, social media is only bad when it becomes our obsession and feeds into our sense of being.  I think its time for a perspective shift.  

 

You are not a number of likes.  You are a cherished, valued member of society with a voice and something to say.  

 

By all means keep posting, but don’t lose heart when you receive less attention than you think you deserve.  The next time you find yourself with a social media “dud” on your hands, stop and remind yourself of who you really are and how infinitely valuable you are in this world.  No amount of “thumbs ups” can change that.

| Ashley's Paper |

We LOOOOVE when you want to write school papers about Unveiled bc it helps spread the word!! Ashley Gray did this one - check it out - super well written! A+ from us!! 

Ashley Gray

February 2, 2015

STU230

 

Leadership Interview

 

1) Pre-Interview Materials. 

 

    Confident, committed, passionate, trustworthy, positive, and role model are some of the key componentsthat come to mind when I think of a good leader. More often than usual, we see individuals leading organizations, businesses, and teams with an overbearing personality that they are superior amongst everyone. However, that is not always the approach you want to go for. Before you can be a leader, you must first be a follower. You must be open to the knowledge of others, intertwining it with your own morals, and use those qualities to encourage those who have grown to look at you for inspiration. To me, there is one person out there who has done just that and her name is Ainsley Britain. 

 

    At just 24 years old, Ainsley has already made a name for herself as an actress, singer, author, and a philanthropist. This past year, she made a huge leap when she began her very own online non-profit organization called UNVEILED. This campaign’s purpose is to encourage everyone to “unveil” the lies we tell ourselves in order for us to fulfill our dreams and destinies. Through videos, stories, inspirational posts, and even public speaking assemblies, Unveiled has inspired people of all ages to tell their stories that may be filled with pain and shame, and turn them into worthy, coming of age tales.

 

    As the frontrunner of her campaign, Ainsley has put forth a substantial amount of leadership qualities. In her own words, she describes the leadership qualities that she must possess within her program. “From delegating volunteers and communicating, to participants in one’s campaign, organizing videography, and answering as many questions as possible, leadership skills are put to the test. It takes a lot of encouraging other and also making sure people are doing provided tasks, which I believe are qualities leaders should have.” 

 

These are the questions that I asked Ainsley throughout the interview:

 

  • Talk a little about your organization, and the qualities you possess within it. 
  • Who has impacted you as a leader, and how have they impacted your life?
  • What are some of the most important decisions you’ve made as a leader?
  • Where do your ideas for Unveiled come from?
  • What is most important to Unveiled in terms of mission, core values, or vision?
  • If you were to choose one characteristic that every leaders should possess, what would it be? 
  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that leaders are faced with in today’s world?
  • What advice would you give to someone who was going into a leadership position for the first time?

 

2) Synopsis

 

Considering Ainsley and I have a long distance commute with her in Tennessee and myself in Arizona, we unfortunately could not meet in person to conduct this interview. However, we were able to both manage time on Tuesday, January 27 where we could talk via email. 

 

Here are the interview questions, along with each response that Ainsley gave to me:

 

Talk a little about your organization, and the qualities you possess within it.

 

Unveiled is a (forming) online non-profit whose goal is to “unveil” the lies we believe about ourselves such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy” so we can fulfill our dreams and destinies. Within starting a non-profit, one absolutely must possess leadership skills. From delegating volunteers and communicating, to participants in one’s campaign, organizing videography, and answering as many questions as possible, leadership skills are put to the test. As a frontrunner, It takes a lot of encouraging others and also making sure people are doing provided tasks, which I believe are qualities leaders should have.

 

Who has impacted you as a leader, and how have they impacted your life?

 

My mom has been a huge impact and example of a leader in my life, as well as a mentor. She always taught me to be the first person to greet anyone new and she is a director of a non-profit also. As a single mom of 13 years, she raised me to be fearless, independent, and a great leader. She would explain how to do the right thing even if it wasn’t always popular and to lead others to do the right thing as well. As a cheerleader, student class president, youth group leader, and eventually a teacher of youth through public speaking assemblies, I’ve always had a sort of leadership skill and have always enjoyed being in such a position to influence people for the better.  

 

What are some of the most important decisions you’ve made as a leader?

 

The most important decisions I make as a leader with Unveiled is how I present myself and my reputation. I want to make sure I’m transparent but still show strength and be marketable for high school and colleges to want to hire a speaker to influence others. I don’t want to appear cold and unapproachable, but it’s a careful balance between letting people in on your life and story and keeping a safeguard and distance up. It’s also important for me to connect with the youth and young adults involved with Unveiled. It’s a decision I have to make daily to make sure I check [social media] or reply to a message of some sortwhen I really just want to focus on the administrative side. 

  

Where do your ideas for Unveiled come from?

 

The ideas come from random bursts of inspiration, a story submitted to unveiled, or my friends and family. The Lord usually plants little idea seeds in my brain and I go from there, but it’s important to me to see what people around me are going through and feed off of the things they need to see or hear. 

 

What is most important to Unveiled in terms of mission, core values, or vision?

 

I’d say our mission is the most important thing to our organization because our mission is to love out our core values and vision to encourage people to believe the best about themselves so they can fulfill their huge dreams and know that the negativity surrounding them can be stopped simply with words and what you tell yourself or believe about yourself. It’s so crucial for us to walk out our mission and go out and tell people these things every day. We have to go physically and make sure people feel loved and encouraged, which is a natural thing with everyone involved in Unveiled so that’s a sweet, sweet thing. 

 

If you were to choose one characteristic that every leaders should possess, what would it be? 

 

I believe every leader should possess a sense of relate-ability.  No one wants to be lead by someone they feel disconnected to or misunderstood by. A leader has to make sure they’re serving their audience and that means understanding what they are dealing with and remembering you were in the same place. 

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge that leaders are faced with in today’s world?

 

In my opinion, leaders are placed under a type of microscope and it’s difficult to not let words or negativity from others affect you. Everyone says you have to have “thick skin,” but skin is only so thick before it becomes calloused and unable to feel certain things, which then removed a sense of being able to relate to your leader. So if people were more understanding and less judgemental in general, I think it would be a healthier environment for leaders to expand on their confidence and encouragement. 

 

What advice would you give to someone who was going into a leadership position for the first time?

    

I would advise them to not try and act like you’re perfect. At the very beginning of your position, let the people under you know that you aren’t perfect, but you will try your best to look out for their interests as well as the interests of the mission. There’s too much pressure in perfection, which can head to a nasty fall and hurt one’s confidence. Transparency is key, but as are boundaries. Also, smile because those are contagious and awesome!

 

3) Post-Interview Learning Summary

 

    One of the greatest things I learned is that when it comes to leadership, you need to be able to find a balance between being the friend while also having a guard up because of your placement.  I learned this lesson back in 2009, and here with Ainsley I was reminded of the importance of it. When I was a cheerleader in highschool I was asked my senior year to come back the following year as an assistant coach. It was a wonderful experience, butI had made friends with them when I was a cheerleader and I didn’t know how to properly coach them. Eventually I was able to build myself a medium in which they called me coach, but I could also encourage them as a role model and sister figure.

 

When it comes to leadership, everyone is different and we all have our own unique ways of approaching certain jobs and goals. I think it’s all about knowing your environment, targeted audience, and being able to accommodate both of those. For instance, you wouldn’t want a strict military personnel teaching a ballet class. With Ainsley’s approach, her audience is mostly made of high school and college students via the internet. By allowing herself the time of day to communicate through social media and talk to everyone, she’s able to create a character of the role model she is. Her overall appearance and reputation is significant when it comes to building her foundation. 

 

I choose to interview Ainsley because I appreciate and respect her overall leadership approach. I see a lot of similarities between her and myself which is important when you’re a leader. You want to connect on a level that is not a leader talking down to a follower, but a leader encouraging another leader based on their knowledge. If I could do this project over again the only thing I would want to change was being able to have a face to face interview with Ainsley, so that I could ask more questions. Overall, I’m very happy with the outcomeand look forward to watching her grow through her campaign as well the incredible leader that she is. 

 

 

If you would like to check out the Unveiled Campaign, visit their website at www.unveiledcampaign.com.