Courtney Moore approaches life with intentionality and compassion, and her work and future ambitions are nothing short of inspiring. We loved learning more about Courtney through this Q+A, and through her story of resilience, featured in this month's issue of En Root. Happy reading.
This month's theme is all about resilience. Tell us about how you interpret this theme, and how it has played a role in your personal or professional life.
I am a strong believer that resilience is a skill that anyone can learn. Like so many others I’ve developed it through lived experience, but I have also followed a lot of research on it. It has helped me develop a more positive outlook on life’s ups-and-downs and how I respond to that turbulence.
At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. What are your tips on growing our capacity to be resilient so that we have the courage to take the next leap?
1) Always always carve out time for reflection and be intentional about how you do it. I personally like to go walking in the woods when I need a moment to think. Some folks prefer to write in a journal or to talk things through with a trusted friend or mentor. The list goes on.
2) Share your story with others (when it is safe to do so). I have been able to connect deeply with others by doing so.
Tell us about your most significant professional moment since the start of the pandemic.
I transitioned into a new role and organization in June 2021. This meant that I would be leaving the security of a full-time job and a great team for an internship position that I was super excited for, but was less secure in a lot of ways (i.e. - no more medical/dental/vision plans). The decision caused a lot of anxiety for me, but in hindsight I realized it was a good dilemma to have.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook from pre-pandemic times.
I am really enjoying my time with Children’s Funding Project and happily accepted a Policy Associate position with them back in October 2021. The team is incredible and I continue to learn so much about what it means to strategically invest in equitable opportunities for children and youth. I also maintain connections with my friends at Break A Difference and still hold volunteerism close to my heart. This transition taught me that intentionality and reflection are the best guides of my decision-making process.
What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2022?
I have a love-hate relationship with writing. It is rewarding to author something that I am proud of, but my process is highly self-critical and even stressful. Thankfully I will have a lot of opportunities to write this year at my job and have the tremendous benefit of collaborating with my colleagues, all of whom are strong thinkers and writers. I am looking forward to discovering a healthy, consistent writing practice.
What inspires you these days?
Podcasts! They allow me to explore my curiosity for people, places, and things.
At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource (book, podcast, article, anything!) you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in 2022?
I recently read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. It is a beautifully-written book about the human relationship to land. The author draws on indigenous storytelling and teachings to discuss core values such as reciprocity and gratitude. It got me thinking a lot about how personal and generational narratives shape my understanding of and interactions within the world.
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2022?
2022 is a year dedicated to expanding my public health practice. I will be traveling to Peru in June to do some field-based work in the Andes. My hope is that I can also make detours through Chile and Argentina, and dramatically improve my Spanish along the way. I would also like to write and publish an op-ed. This may be inspired by my travels or pertain to policy research I do with Children’s Funding Project, but TBD.
Courtney grew up just outside of Boston, MA but currently resides in Baltimore, MD. She works in the public policy space and is also pursuing her MPH degree. Outside of work and school she enjoys training Brazilian jiu jitsu, exploring America's national parks, and solo travel.