Name: Anna Cecilia
Founder: Project Babe
Where you can find her: @annaceciliaaah @weareprojectbabe www.projectbabe.org www.annaceciliaaah.com
I’ve known Anna for only a few months now and in that short time I have been blown away by her character and the work she does in her community. To go through such a dark situation as she has and come out of it stronger, and as a tool for other women experiencing the same is incredible. After coming out of an abusive relationship Anna realized how inaccessible healing tools can be for trauma survivors and created a non-profit organization, Project Babe, to change that. I’ve had the honor of seeing her in action at the Pace School for Girls, young survivors of sex trafficking and abuse, and one on one with young survivors of domestic abuse.
Aside from that she is a creative freelancer, the designer responsible for my stunning website. Through Project Babe she’s been able to help over 500 women begin their healing process and will only expand as she continues to come up with new activities and events to support them.
How much effect, if any, has your gender had on your path to success, specifically in your field?
More so in the design field than between other nonprofits, but I definitely think gender plays a huge role. Women have to work harder and get questioned more often. I worked at an advertising agency where the majority of employees were men and I could've never gotten away with the some of the stuff they did. That's not to say men have it easy- they need to work hard as well, but the challenges presented to women are often times because of how we carry ourselves vs being a testament to our skills. Taking too much control makes us bitchy or emotional, being focused and quiet makes us antisocial or stuck up... It took me a long time to realize that I don't need to be everything for everyone and that helped me grow significantly within my field.
What does success look like to you?
This is such a tough question because I'm not sure how I would define success. It's different for everyone and it's different depending on what I'm trying to achieve. Overall, for Project Babe I would love to start doing mission trips. In general- success to me would be finding happiness in doing what I'm good at and what I love.
Any opinions or advice, on balancing relationships or having a family VS. the perception of the public of women choosing success or love?
Women shouldn't have to choose. No woman should be forced to decide between following her passion or growing a family/relationship. In terms of advice, I say find someone who supports your goals and dreams as much as you support theirs.
How do you remain committed to yourself and your goals? What does it look like?
I take time early every morning to organize my planner, journal a little bit and revisit my goal list to see what progress I'm making. It doesn't take longer than 15 minutes and I do it while drinking my morning tea, but it really sets a positive tone for my day.
What is your "why" ?
In terms of Project Babe- my why is because I've been through it and I stand behind the mission 110%. I believe everyone deserves a fair chance at healing and no one should live life in fear of abuse. In terms of freelancing, my why is that I love it and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my days.
How much of your success Do you attribute to your "tribe" Or Circle? What does yours look Like?
So much of it! Birds of a feather flock together, yaknow... so I try to keep people who inspire me, motivate me, hold me accountable and support me in my inner circle. Like I said before, you shouldn't try to be everything for everyone and you can't always make others happy, but when you find the right people who really are happy for your success and help elevate you, then you're doing something right!
What are you most proud of yourself for in terms of "self"?
I'm most proud of learning to say no to things that make me uncomfortable and saying yes to things that make me happy (even if sometimes I'm scared). I also overcame a real trying time in my life, only to come out stronger.
What are you most proud of yourself for in terms of your business and non profit?
I'm most proud of not letting doubt or fear stop me, both in business and in my nonprofit. When I launched Project Babe, I had no idea how to run a nonprofit but instead of letting fear stop me, I dove into research, seminars and classes so that I could make my vision come to life instead of waiting for the "perfect time." Going 100% freelance was also scary because you never really know how things will go but I'm so glad I took the risk. Sometimes taking a dive into the unknown is the most rewarding experience ever.
What is one personal goal you are trying to reach this year?
My personal goal for this year is also kind of a work goal, but it's something I'm putting my heart and soul into so I think it applies. I am working on launching an after school program for at risk girls (specially in high school) who have been rescued from human trafficking situations. The program would offer educational resources to advance their futures (prepare college applications, resumes, etc) while also promoting healing
Why Project Babe?
After being in an abusive relationship and later dealing with the justice system, I experienced first hand the ongoing trauma attributed to domestic violence and abuse. I know that I was fortunate enough to be able to afford a lawyer and a psychologist who helped me, but trauma healing is expensive and the need is not only urgent, but ever growing.