We asked some of the most inspiring folks in the community to tell us where they want to be professionally by the end of their careers.

Amber Tilden | Artist & Tattooer

My ultimate goal for my artistic career is to make my artwork live forever. My goal is to make people feel in their souls and to have empathy for the characters I create without any explanation. I have wanted to be an artist ever since I could hold a pencil. I never wanted to create in order to achieve a special status. I only wanted to be an artist because I could never NOT not be one. In a way, I feel like I have already achieved part of my goal, except for the fact that I am not done. I want to make my daughters proud and leave this legacy of achievement to them. Read more>>

Bridget McManus | Comedian, Writer & Actor

I want to own a production company through which I’m able to perform in, write for, produce and fund as many female and queer artists’ projects as I possibly can. I love collaborating with other creators and want to support and bring their passion projects to life. I also want the freedom to bring my own projects to fruition, and tell the types of stories that matter to me. And if I end up with my own action figure, she’d better come with leg warmers because my ankles are. Read more>>

James Duran | Music Photographer

Picture a late 80’s RV sitting in the middle of the desert somewhere in California. Outside the RV there are two beat up chairs, and a fire pit. I’m sitting in one chair, my wife in the other. I lit up a cigarette, put on ‘Southern Nights’ by Glenn Campbell, watch the sunset, and go to bed. If my professional career takes me there, I won. Read more>>

Madison Marchegiano | Founder/President Colt Catalina Foundation

I have dedicated my life to raising awareness for Drowning Prevention. My goal is to put an end to childhood drownings. Each year thousands of children drown and it is so preventable. I want parents to start taking it seriously by using simple layers of protection like supervision, pool fences, pool alarms, window/door alarms, and CPR. Most importantly, I urge parents everywhere to enroll their child(ren) in survival swim lessons with the hope they can avoid becoming yet another sobering statistic. I don’t want to see another family go through the unimaginable pain Colt’s family has endured. After I graduate college, I plan on training to become an Infant Aquatic® Survival Specialist. I want to teach life-saving self-rescue swimming survival skills. I plan to open my own survival swim school here in Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. I can’t think of a more rewarding career than teaching children how to save themselves in the water. If I can save just one child’s life, then I would have succeeded in my goal. Read more>>

Savannah Stanton | Artist & Educator

Passionate. Curious. Gritty. Intense. I have been told I’m a lot. Often. That I dive too deeply, engage with too much intensity. Ask too many questions. Seek too much meaning. This is the reality of my mind, body and soul though — one driven by the pursuit of purpose and realization of goals, regardless of the mountains to be climbed. Someone who revels in an animated conversation between strangers, finds refreshment in a renewed perspective, and looks past the stars for their next adventure. Goals have been ingrained in my DNA for as long as I can remember – as an athlete, academic, artist. I cannot recall a moment where I wasn’t striving for the next “something” just around the corner. Working to improve application of a skill or develop new understanding of a medium or concept. Competitive by nature and highly self-critical, I find I pursue projects that continuously challenge and stretch my capacity. Read more>>

Aziz Dosmetov | Art Director & Motion Graphics Lead

The end goal is to continue working and learning what I always loved doing. Also, embracing all the challenging aspects of any project and continue to learn from it. I sometimes wish there were more hours in a day for me to work, learn and get a lot of things done. I hope I was able to answer the question. Read more>>

Jill Gurr | Writer and Founder/CEO of Nonprofit Organization “Create Now”

I began writing poems and stories at six years-old. My passion has always been to be a successful writer. I was on track to meet this goal since a number of my screenplays were optioned by reputable producers. One of my high-concept scripts has placed as a finalist in eight competitions. I was hired by a director to write three screenplays for him while living all expenses paid in Rome and Spain. Two of those were produced: (1) a book that I adapted into a screenplay called “Rigged” that stars George Kennedy and (2) another one (a PBS pilot) that stars Ed Asner as Socrates. All of that changed after I taught two screenwriting workshops to incarcerated youth. These are powerful stories written by the youth in their own words about their lives and I hope to get them made. Many kids learned how to read and write through my workshops, while others wanted to return to school and apply to college. One young lady even became a screenwriter and got an agent! I founded my nonprofit organization in 1996 and the name was initially “Write Now!”. Read more>>

Yoojin Seol | Art Director & Designer

In the big picture, I hope to have positively have uplifted others along the way. To be more connected, have fun, and make friends. In all the teams I get to work with, I hope to have contributed to create a happy, creative environment where we can grow and help each other make awesome work. I try to see career as a journey to help others in our unique ways, than my own advancements. Read more>>

Tiffany Asamoah | Designer/Founder

As a founder, I am constantly thinking about this. What is the end goal? Where do I want to be at the end of my career? These are loaded questions. I feel like BOLD Swim is just getting started and truly changing the landscape for inclusive and sustainable swimwear. The end goal is eventually to make BOLD Swim THE global brand for sustainable swimwear. We will accomplish this through building a community of designers, production facilities with a curated focus on sustainability, diversity, and inclusion of female-founded businesses. BOLD Swim is a network of confident women who can share in the creative process, be mentors for others, and act as a safe space for all. At the end of my career, I want to be passing the torch to my successor as CEO of BOLD Swim. I hope this is at a point where the celebration of ( previously mentioned) ideas comes to materialize. I want to be a consulting member on the board of BOLD Swim to ensure the vision continues long after I am gone. During this time I want to work on other projects such as investing in other businesses and people to help curate the landscape in which the next generation will inherit. Read more>>

Desi Derio | Singer, Songwriter, Dancer , Author, Poet

My end goal is to first be happy! In addition, my end goal is to have accumulated enough success in music, entertainment, and business to be able to give back to the entertainment community and the world with artist development programs, schools if arts and entertainment, charities, and other businesses that will help aid in the evolution of us as people and artists. Read more>>

Tim Steckler | Applied Theatre Educator and Facilitator, The 2033 Podcast Co-host, & Researcher

I think my end goal is less a tangible outcome, but more of a hope to form strong values backed by real action in my creative work. When I’m 103 (fingers crossed) and thinking back, I want to be able to say that I feel connected, present, and still curious. If you asked me before the pandemic I would not have had this answer. I would’ve told you that my end goal would be to make theatre seen by thousands to move society, to create as many spaces as possible where communities could feel ownership and versatility with their own narratives and create platforms to find alternatives around their challenges using theatre. The pandemic, and its obliteration of most theatre this year, taught me that maybe predicting a definite end goal isn’t always the most important. Maybe a good enough goal is being ok with not knowing exactly what to do in a moment, but still move forward with the ethos that the only way one can learn and improve the world is by trying something, however imperfectly, in my case using theatre. Read more>>

Angelica Burdette | Singer-Songwriter “A Strange Bird”

I hope my career never ends. Or at least, I hope to be involved in the music industry for the rest of my life. I want to be the greatest songwriter of all time, but that’s subjective so as far as career goals… I want to sustain myself solely from my music and art. To be free to create and be in a position to help others create, is the ultimate goal. I hope by the end of my career my songs will have reached all over the world and I along with them. I used to have these daydreams of being this radical pop star that broke down barriers and smashed the gates and gatekeepers of the industry, thus clearing a golden pathway of representation for girls like me that didn’t fit into what my child mind considered to be the global standard of “barbie” beauty… I guess I still want some of those things. I daydreamed a lot as a kid and I still do as an adult. When I close my eyes these days, I don’t just imagine myself singing to thousands of people at Red Rocks Amphitheater, or on tour opening for Shaky Graves. Read more>>

Stefanie The Life Architect | Emotional Health Specialist and Certified Life Coach

The end goal is freedom. Freedom of my time, in my finances, with my emotions and spirit. This freedom seek, is not just for me, but also for my clients. At the end of my career, I want to be a person who not only dwells in this freedom space, but who was a guiding freedom light for anyone who came in contact with me. Read more>>

Rachel Mingzhu Ye | Film Producer & Director & Singer

I’d like to accomplish a goal which I’m achieving at the present very well. Then, go to the next. I don’t want to set up the end goal for myself because it definitely will change at some point. Just like five year ago, I never imagined that I will work and living in the U.S. some day. So, I won’t set up a goal very high or further than five years. Currently, I’m working in the film industry. I am a film producer and director, and my big goal is to finish my next film. I love my work very much and love all the things that I’m doing now. At this moment, I still want to develop my career in the film industry as longer as I can and be more professional. Read more>>

Keira Moran | Songwriter, Artist, and Private Music Coach

I’ve said semi-jokingly many times that when I grow up I want to be Ryan Tedder. Jokingly because I am already an adult and obviously will never be the male lead singer of OneRepublic from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Truthfully because I greatly admire Ryan Tedder’s ability to churn out hit song after hit song for such a wide range of pop artists. If you are not already familiar with his songwriting catalogue, I highly encourage you to look it up. He has written hits for artists ranging from Beyonce’ to Jennifer Lopez to Carrie Underwood. In addition to numerous nominations, Tedder has won 3 Grammy Awards for his work on Adele’s 21 and 25, and Taylor Swift’s 1989. The list of collaborations and accomplishments goes on and on. Ryan Tedder’s life is so appealing to me because despite his massive success in the music industry, he is relatively unknown. Unless you study songwriting or are a huge fan of OneRepublic, you’ve probably never heard of him. Read more>>

Malado Francine | Artist

Being an artist is one of those careers you never really retire from- rather, it is both a way of living and seeing the world. This means that if you’re lucky, you get to do it your whole life.  The true joy of living an immersive creative life is that you always have an outlet. Making something can bring so much joy in the moment, that you can always find happiness no matter what else is going on. In the end, I’d like to know that I have touched people’s hearts through my connection to them personally, and through the artwork that I have made. Specifically, that I have created works of some value or importance – which, in turn, could mean collected by museums and other institutions, shown and shared in online and offline spaces, or just truly loved by one person. Ideally, I would like to know that my artwork is interesting and heart-touching enough to be protected and conserved for posterity. Being appreciated in your life, then also remembered beyond your lifetime, for your positive contributions to humanity~ that is the ultimate goal. Read more>>

Sarahi Gonzalez | Founder/Artist of Your Smile Is A Vibe

I have countless dreams that I want to accomplish in my lifetime. My vision for the future is full of ideas written down in journals, hoping they will come true one day. I have always been a visionary and have GOD-SIZED dreams! I believe there is no limit when I have God by my side. A few of those dreams entail being a best-selling author, a renown keynote speaker, and of course a thriving full-time artist and CEO of Your Smile Is A Vibe. In addition, I hope to open a wellness center where I aspire to teach art-related workshops, host galleries for underprivileged youth to showcase their art and find creative ways to bring healing to my community. The end goal is to be absolutely filled with joy and peace at the end of my career and throughout. I want to look back and know that I made a difference in the world. My dream is to pass on Your Smile Is A Vibe to my children and generations to come. I hope that they can keep the legacy going and transform people’s lives with God’s art and love. Read more>>

Lauren Slak | Licensed Midwife

The end goal of midwifery care is always a healthy family. But I believe this means so much more than just a good clinical outcome. Of course a safe pregnancy, birth and postpartum is always the most important aspect of our care but it’s not the only part that matters. I would feel like my career was successful if, through the course of my work, I was able to be a part of a shift towards greater emphasis in mental health and trauma reduction around the way babies are brought into the world. Read more>>

Rudy Harlan | Writer, Director, Designer

The end goal of my career (and dare I say, my life) is to ultimately tell stories. I understand that is a very basic answer to every filmmaker/writer/artist. However, my goal has always been to bridge myself to an audience. I want to showcase stories and characters that audiences can relate to. In my opinion, that is the gift of art. Expression through a visual medium can reach an array of people as well as their sentiments. Tapping into those human sentiments with art is what I have always wanted to do. I continue to do so, by any means necessary. Read more>>

Kathryn Starke | Urban Literacy Consultant, Author, and CEO of Creative Minds Publications

I want to teach the world to read. This means, my company will continue to expand our reach in publishing engaging and educational children’s books and increase our literacy consulting in elementary schools coast to coast. Our annual Tackle Reading event supported by the NFL and WNFC just kicked off its fifth year, so we look forward to making that bigger and better every year. Lastly, I want to partner with the right individuals or EdTech company to bring my prototype to life that will actually provide the simulation of quality reading instructional practices for students. Read more>>

Jacqueline Herrera | Licensed Esthetician & Certified Health Coach

By the end of my career, I would love to still be running a small, boutique esthetician practice, helping others to achieve the confidence and knowledge I was not given until after my studies. I would love to expand my business into something more spiritual and nutrition-based, with my background of being a certified health coach. That way others can learn the importance of treating your mind and body with care to inturn have naturally glowing skin! I would also love to create a versatile skin oil that can be used within my practice, and sold in boutique retail stores, to help clients and others with home care and maintenance. This skin oil will be organic and something that a series of people can use to treat various different skin concerns. Read more>>