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Zakiya Esper, founder and Executive Director of Sowing Seeds into the Midlands, drops some serious non-profit knowledge on us today. After years of working as a juvenile probation officer in South Carolina, Zakiya became increasingly alarmed by the gap in support services for the teens she served. Many mentorship programs in SC operate at capacity and cannot meet the demand for services. The vision for Sowing Seeds into the Midlands was birthed from Zakiya’s belief in redemption for troubled youth, especially those living in the communities where she was raised. 

It is my pleasure to bring you the VERY FIRST FREAKIN’ EPISODE of The LaziMILLENNIAL Lounge!

In Episode 001, we meet a fellow LaziMILLENNIAL and visionary, Zakiya Esper!

Zakiya took what had become a disheartening career with the Department of Juvenile Justice and transformed it into a growing non-profit organization: Sowing Seeds into the Midlands. Sowing Seeds has since become an integral part of the metropolitan Columbia, SC community.

While Zakiya considers herself blessed to be making a difference in the community, she wants us to realize that not all is glitter and gold in the non-profit world.

Zakiya gives us a heartfelt and genuine look into the realities of non-profit work from her perspective as the executive director of Sowing Seeds. She shares what she might have done differently had she known then what she knows now.

If you’ve ever been interested in starting or working for a non-profit, you’ll get tons of great insights from this interview!

In this episode, we get the scoop on…

How zakiya balanced starting a non-profit with being a new wife and mom

How a chance encounter scored zakiya a home for sowing seeds into the midlands

ways to make a difference for a cause without starting a non-profit

the value of social media as a tool for fundraising and making specific requests

how zakiya uses her passion and creativity to develop a youth summer program

staying motivated and inspired for the long haul

Zakiya gives us the REAL on the ups and downs of non-profit work.

Watch Episode 001 now!