The JJs List Blog

This Is Not Goodbye.

Posted by on August 23, 2013 - 4 Comments

Today marks my last day at jjslist.com. Next week, I fly halfway around the world to spend the next two years in Singapore.

JJ and Shuling

Shuling with JJ

As I was packing my things yesterday, I came across the JJ’s List folder that JJ had handed me 3 years ago, during our very first meeting at our neighborhood favorite Brothers K Coffeehouse. Inside it was information about JJ’s List, plus a job description for a JJ’s List Assistant. It was for a temporary part-time job; just 10-15 hours a week helping JJ grow her small but mighty grassroots non-profit organization.

While I had zero experience with the disability community, the organization’s mission of strengthening the social and economic futures of people with disabilities, combined with the sheer energy and passion that JJ exuded, attracted me to the opportunity. As we shook hands in agreement at the end of that meeting, little did I know that that moment would mark the beginning of a life-changing experience for me, both professionally and personally.

JJ's List team members posing under balloons that spell "Heroes" at the Bridge Builder Benefit 2011

The JJ's List Team at our Bridge Builder Benefit 2011

One of the things I have loved most about being a part of jjslist.com is its core beliefs that people with disabilities can build independent living and employment skills with the right support, and that businesses that work to strengthen their disability-awareness do so because it’s good for business. And jjslist.com walks the walk.

Getting to work in a truly integrated environment where people with and without disabilities work alongside each other has been tremendously eye-opening. The individuals who come through the doors at jjslist.com never fail to light up the room, and each one brings his/her own unique personality and talents to the table, whether it’s in teaching others to take public transportation, in training business leaders about disability-awareness, or in sharing their personal stories. If you have never had the privilege of being part of a diverse workforce such as this, believe me when I say that your team will become much stronger when you make inclusion a part of the fabric of your organization. As with anything new, it may be challenging at first, but the payoff is tremendous.

The JJ's List Team posing behind our promo table at Whole Foods Market Evanston South

The JJ's List Team at our promo booth during 5% Day at Whole Foods Market

If you’re one of the people whose paths I’ve had the great privilege of crossing over the last 3 years, I’d like to give you a big virtual hug. Thanks for the memories. It’s been so fun working hard to grow our seedling of an organization into a healthy plant, and I cannot wait to see it bloom beautifully. I get to officially hand the reigns over today. You’ll now be in the good hands of the talented Philister Sidigu.

What does the future hold for me? I’ll be in Singapore growing my business Media For Social Change, and working on my first feature documentary World Class Learning. Look out also for the official launch of the Media For Social Change Podcast. But like the title says, this is not goodbye, because once a part of the jjslist.com family, always a part of the jjslist.com family.

In the meantime, this is the last time I’ll get to sign off as jjslist.com’s Digital Marketing and Community Engagement Manager. So in true spirit, I’ll leave you with a list of write-ups about my favorite jjslist.com moments. Come walk down memory lane with me:

 

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Shuling Yong - Documentary Filmmaker and Community Engagement Specialist
Written by Shuling Yong 
Shuling Yong is the Digital Marketing and Community Engagement Specialist at JJ’s List, the leaders in teaching communications and technology skills for employment readiness to people with disabilities. She is also the founder of Media For Social Change. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.

 

4 Comments

Jake says:
Aug 24, 2013

Shuling, it’s been so great working with you! Please come back and visit us! Hopefully by then I’ll have a better laptop to work on! Thank you so much for all that you taught me in the wonderful realm of social media!

Suzanne Kenney says:
Aug 24, 2013

It will be strange to walk into the office and not see your great smile and feel your awesome energy, Shuling. Thank you for your leadership in marketing the important message and work of JJ’s List.

I am looking forward to hearing about your Media for Social Change work when we meet in Singapore next February.

Safe travels, we miss you already!

Sharon says:
Aug 25, 2013

Safe travels and happy trails, Shuling. Your always positive outlook and can do spirit will be missed by all. The day you spent with us at ETHS is fondly remembered by our students and teachers as a wonderful learning experience. We sure will miss you and look forward to hearing about your next project- Media for Social Change. Thank you.

Ben Orris says:
Feb 17, 2014

Shuling I must say I am sorry you are gone and honestly a bit hurt that I was not mentioned in this or contacted to be informed of your departure. You have always been both Personally and Professionally light-years beyond the point that the founder of this company even has the ability to approach. If only your quotes were true how this company walks the walk of it’s listed core beliefs or how once a part of the family always a part of the family. I am sure you have not forgotten how I was an early volunteer for the company and did what I could before the company as I predicted truly took off. As you also remember the unfortunate truth that after extremely unprofessional behavior by someone whom shall remain unidentified and the violation of company policy and its core beliefs as well things ended up with me not being welcome at anything related to the company and if I possibly showed up for a few seconds I was viewed as a threat kind of like a criminal would be. I do remember you were the only individual who continued to look at me in an ordinary manner and maintained respect and recognized I too had contributed. I am sorry you are no longer here but I must say You Deserve More just because you have always been far to Exceptional for the rest of people associated. I want you to know while I have never fully recovered from those long past events and never received any type of acknowledgement or apology, I still support the cause via spreading the word, facilitating networking connections, commenting on blog posts and writing reviews from time to time hence I continue to pay more attention to the greater good than I do for myself. I am thankful for my time with you and will definitely miss you as you were really the only person in this who was both professional and gave me equal treatment. I am going to try to search for your e-mail as I am validly concerned that this will not be posted essentially end up Illegally taken down because I have not been aware of anything changing as far as associated people are concerned. 🙁

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