When I Grow Up: Founding a Non-Profit

Hey guys! Today we are hearing from Susan Noble, the founder and president of a non-profit for kids and people who suffer from Epilepsy and Seizures. 

When I Grow Up: Founding a Non-Profit | MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

As a child, I wanted to be a Teacher when I grew up.

How close (or far) is your current career from that dream? In ways being an advocate for Epilepsy/Seizures and Special Needs is like being a teacher as you are educating everyone. I did actually teach for 7 years Pre-School through Kindergarten, though.

What is your official job title? Founder and President of the Epilepsy Warriors Foundation and I am also the Creative Director/Owner of Party With The Warriors. Watch for some exciting changes coming for Party With The Warriors as we celebrate the New Year with a re-branding of our website, logo and name. Coming soon is Blessed Events-The Gift of Giving! 

When I Grow Up: Founding a Non-Profit | MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

Ok, now what does that really mean? I started a 501c3 Non-Profit for those whom suffer from Epilepsy and Seizures. Epilepsy is the least talked about and least funded of all the chronic illnesses out there. When you are the parent of a child with special needs you have to have the support from not just family but friends and your local communities. As President and Founder of the Epilepsy Warriors I am striving to reach as many people within the local communities to help educate and bring an end to the stigma of Epilepsy. It takes team work. It involves supporting each other in all efforts. It means showing the world that Epilepsy is worth researching, fighting for, and funding. We are all fighting for a CURE for our children and those “Living with Epilepsy” every day. We are a new foundation one with a passionate vision. This vision will light our path, and guide us towards our goals of “enlightening, empowering and curing.”

I started the Party Styling business as a way to help raise funds for our Foundation's expenses. I do not want to have to take money out of donations or from the fundraising events we do to help cover our administrative costs. To me that is taking away from those whom need it most. Party With the Warriors is how we celebrate the Gifts and Blessings of the Child. We believe that children are our gifts and as parents you are their biggest blessings. That's why we feel celebrating the gift and blessing of each child’s special day is important and should be one to remember. We feel it should tell their own unique story but also see the vision of their parents as seen through the beauty of their child’s eyes. (For more information on our services go to http://partywiththewarriors.org/.)

What is a typical day like? A typical day for me is helping parents or those in need from finding a doctor to just being there to listen and allowing them to share their fears, concerns, whatever the need maybe. Support is crucial. I also reach out to other doctors, businesses in my local communities to let them know about us and what we do. I plan events, build relationships all the things you must do and have when you run a non-profit especially when you are the one that does it all. It’s like parenthood. A mother's work is never done and there is never enough time in the day.

How did you end up in this career? I feel I ended up in this career because it was what God called me to do. I can’t explain why he waited until I was in my 50’s to start this journey but in some ways it may have been because I am such a firm believer in everything is done in his timing not ours. Had I done this back in my 20’s or 30’s I would have tanked in the first year. I never intended to start a non-profit, actually. I wanted to give people a place to come for support so I first chose to do that by opening a Facebook group page. That page grew quickly within 2-4 days of opening it. I was amazed after doing some research in my local community the lack of support for parents of those children or family members with special needs. It was soon after that realization and what I felt was such a strong calling that the Epilepsy Warriors was formed. We became a registered foundation May of 2011, and a 501c3 in April of 2012. I put everything together within the span of 18 months.  

When I Grow Up: Founding a Non-Profit | MrsRobbinSparkles.com

What kind of education or training did you complete for this career? None, my background was in education. I never studied fundraising or non-profit management; I learned a lot of it from the hands-on experience that I do. I may take a course here and there this year, as I always feel there is room for improvement. Education never hurts anyone no matter what line of work or business you are in.

What advice would you give to someone who wants a similar career? That if it’s truly your passion then take that passion and run with it. I taught school for 7 years, worked 14 years in the hospitality industry, and worked 3 years in the corporate world for Oracle. I loved my jobs but it was not until I started the foundation that I truly found what I was happiest doing. Why? It’s simple. It’s because I am doing what I really want to do and with the party styling I am doing what I love to do.

Having a job is important. You need that paycheck to live your daily life, save for retirement, that kind of thing. I get that but you also have to be happy in what you do. You won’t give the best you can be to yourself or your employer if you are unhappy. In fact, it often  becomes stressful and honestly unfair to the employer you are working for. Do whatever it takes for you to reach your goals and dreams. Don’t let anyone stand in your way or make you feel you can’t succeed. Let your haters be your motivators. Like Nike says “just do it”.

Do you have any other career dreams?  I would love to teach classes on epilepsy management. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? The best I can be.

Any last thoughts or encouragement for others trying to decide what they want to do “when they grow up”? Never give up, always believe in yourself and know that no matter who you are or what you do everyone has something of value they can offer. That everyone matters and is valued. That how you see your future is so much more important than anything that happened in your past. I recently read a couple of quotes that speak volumes. One was “Find but one thing that you love doing and follow the excitement generated within… wondrous things you will begin to achieve”. Another was “If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission”. You can do whatever you set your mind to regardless of what others think. “If the plan doesn’t work change the plan never the goal.”

Encouragement is the fuel on which hope runs so remember no beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart. Let your light shine brightly.

Thank you Susan, for those words of encouragement! I think it is a great reminder that it is never too late to follow your dreams. Think of all the kids that would be missing out if Susan had given up and not listened to her calling. Thank you Susan!