There’s a community of women spread across the US that are changing the way women are empowered globally. By selling Sseko products and sharing the Sseko story, these women are earning an additional scholarship for the women on our team in Uganda! They’re called the Sseko Fellows, heard of them? One of our Sseko Fellows just hit Adventuress Status (that means she sold $10,000 worth of Sseko, in ONE month!) and she’s earned herself a trip to Uganda to meet the team!
Sarah Woodson is a 27 year old full-time Sseko Fellow (and newlywed!) who recently moved to St. Louis, Missouri with her hubby. Even before she was a Fellow, Sseko played a big role in her life- we’re talkin’ all her Bridesmaids were decked out in Ribbon Sandals y’all. She’s passionate about a range of social justice issues and has even spent time working for an anti-trafficking agency in the past! This lady is busy killin’ it all day everyday, and we’re so happy she had some time to answer some of our questions. Read on to get to know Sarah and her work as a Sseko Fellow!
When did you join the Sseko Fellows Program? Why?
I joined the Sseko Fellows program in February of 2016. I knew at this stage in my life I needed to do work that I am passionate about, that would give me a deeper meaning for living.
What about the Sseko Fellows Program is life giving for you?
My mother, who was one of my closest friends, passed away after a 14 year battle to cancer in February 2015. At that time and for the rest of 2015 I went into survival mode and abandoned the things I was most passionate about, including volunteering with multiple social justice organizations. After getting married in November of 2015, making it through the holidays without my mom and moving across the country, I knew I needed to begin my search for some form of employment in January 2016. However, I was still emotionally, spiritually and mentally struggling and didn’t see how I could go back to work full time or have myself put together for specific hours of the day.
That same month I learned that Sseko Designs did Trunk Shows and had something else interesting called the Sseko Fellows Program. When I learned that I could again do something I was passionate about, work from home, AND make some money, I felt confident this was my next step in life. Quickly after becoming a Fellow my well-being began to turn around and improve. I was reminded of my passions, what God made me for, and was excited again to be a cheerleader for empowering women across the world. The Sseko Fellows Program helps to give me a purpose again in life, do things that I truly love and brings me happiness. And it’s also pretty fun 🙂
Since becoming a Sseko Fellow, what’s changed for you?
My husband sees the most visible changes in me being excited about life again. Sure, I’m still struggling through a lot of pain in my personal life, but I reached a goal in August that I never thought I could do. Life goes on and life will get better. The fact that the women who work with Sseko Uganda have also experienced death of loved ones, but also war, poverty, disease and oppression, but continue to fight to pursue their dreams has encouraged me to put fight back into my life. I’m a fighter, just like them, and I will continue to fight to see my dreams become a reality.
What tenant of the Brave Manifesto resonates most with you?
It’s all so fantastic! I absolutely love the line that says, “Stand up for yourself and those who can’t.” I’ve always felt that my purpose is helping be a microphone to those who want to change their situation but aren’t quite sure how to. They have voices and dreams and I can use my influence to help make their voices and dreams heard.
We talk a lot about being brave here at Sseko. What does it mean to you to ‘Be Brave’?
I love what Sharon Jr, my sole sister, says about not giving up. I think being brave is facing the days ahead knowing the outcome may not be what you desire, maybe it’s the exact opposite of what you’re hoping for. But to continue to strive for a better tomorrow and marching forward in life with hope.
You hit Adventuress Status! What’s next on your list as a Sseko Fellow?
I am excited to spend the next months focusing on my role as a Mentor Fellow. I have a deep desire to support and encourage women here in Saint Louis and across the country in achieving their dreams (whatever those may be personally or professionally), and to see the results of that positively changing their own lives, nation and world. I love that Sseko isn’t only about empowering women in Uganda, but across the entire world. So my next goal is to build a team of women empowered to pursue their passions and dreams.
Sarah, we celebrate you and your bravery! Ready to join Sarah and empower women globally through fashion? Join Team Sseko! And if you’d like to learn more about the Fellows program, don’t miss our Live Q&A session on Wed. 9/21! Sign up here.