We had the good fortune of connecting with Chenice Branquinho and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chenice, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Authenticity. You Are Important Project is a manifestation of the genuine need for human connection.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I like to think of myself as an artist and scientist. I am a nurse leader with an active pursuit in a doctoral degree by day (scientist) but by night I work on You Are Important Project and DJ (artist).

I honestly don’t think I am different than anyone else– and ironically I think this is what sets me apart from others. Life is so weird and confusing and scary and I know I am not alone in these feelings. I use You Are Important Project as an expression to make meaning and peace with existence. It’s an authentic expression of me, so it naturally comes out in everything I do. If you walk through the hospital where I work, you’ll see stickers across badges, phones, and computers. Most people don’t even know it came from me. I am deeply connected with the dance music scene– so you’ll see my stickers decorated in various music venues across the US and Europe. It’s amazing to see its reach from such an organic level. It’s visual proof that our actions and energy spread outward in ways we can never know.

As far as challenges– Perhaps the fact that’s its self funded and the momentum of this project relies on my energy and time. But it’s actually quite “easy” to find time. As corny as it sounds, the time finds me. I operate from passion. I see the impact it makes on others. It keeps me going. If you were to add it up, I definitely have spent way more than I made. While that’s a goal one day, this project gives back to me in ways that money can never can. It’s worth the investment of my time and energy.

Not to state the obvious– but I want people to know they are important. You make a difference. The world would’t be the same without you here. You are not alone. We are all human beings going through existence together.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in New York City. There is so much to do. You can find anything you’re looking for. I love house and techno so that’s what I know best. I’d take them to my favorite venues–Knockdown Center, 99 Scott, Basement, Nowadays, Elsewhere, Superior Ingredients, House of Yes. My friend has an art car bus, so we’d drive around the city in that and throw a party in the street. DJ at pirate studios–a public music recording studio that anyone can rent. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Walk from the east side to the west side of Manhattan through Central Park. Definitely need to have pizza and bagels–nobody else does them like NYC. Take the tram from the upper east side to Rosevelt Island and back just because the views are cool. Avoid Times Square at all costs.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many friends that proudly support my mission and their ideas and support have contributed to You Are Important Project’s growth–Mary, Steven, Julio, Ernie, Alex M, Alex P, Bri, Jenn, Jared, Dan, Sylvie, Ashley, Zack, Dasha, Dario, Tori, Kareem, Austin W, Austin P, Matt, Leslie, Brayan, Alan, Sam, and Devon

All the collectives that let me partner with them: RVDIOVCTIVE, Standard Deviation, Sputnik Yoga, The Scene.

Everyone that purchases stickers so I can keep the movement alive.

And anyone who has ever been touched by this message. This project is all about what it does for others.

Website: www.youareimportantproject.com

Instagram: instagram.com/youareimportantproject and instagram.com/branqueeno

Image Credits
Zack Henningsgaard

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