From Queens, NY to Queen of an Empire
Have you ever been asked a question that was so deep and thought-provoking it caused you to change your entire life? Meet the woman it happened to, Chari Chin Young Caston -- motivational speaker and co-founder of World Peace Connection. World Peace Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the world and its people and challenging them to put action behind their personal quest for world peace connection.
Young Chari had no idea she would grow up to run a successful non-profit organization. She was the epitome of a New Yorker as a small child; she rode the city bus and grew up in Queens, NY. After the housing market happened, life as Chari knew it abruptly changed when her family had to move. Now living in Lawrenceville, GA, she experienced a different kind of life. One where she describes having teachers who cared, being challenged in school more and moving at a slower pace.
During her time in high school, Chari often day-dreamed about being famous. This was during the era of reality shows, and social media, where being a socialite was considered a job. In Chari's mind, she thought she'd end up the wife of a basketball player. She knew she could never tell her Jamaican mother that that was a goal of hers, so Chari decided to go to school to become an eye doctor. After spending two years in community college to figure it out, she realized she wanted to do biology.
With a fresh new start at Georgia Southern, Chari made decent grades but was unhappy in her pre-med program. She switched to psychology and earned her degree in that. Before graduating, Chari held off on three credits to study abroad in Paris for three months. While there, the traveling bug bit her hard. After being in Paris, Chari made it a mission to not return home and ended up working for City Year, in South Central Los Angeles. With dreams of saving the inner-city kids, Chari quickly learned it was not going to be that easy. Hear why she calls this time a humbling experience and how it planted the seed for her non-profit.
The journey from psych major to co-founder of a successful non-profit was destined to happen, once you consider that Chari was always intrigued in learning about people and how they think. But before Chari was able to walk in her purpose, there were a few pit stops along the way.
Chari tells us how her views on love and being a basketball wife changed once she met her now-husband and business partner. And she let us in on the life-changing question that her friend asked her (at 3 in the morning). This was the question which caused her and her husband to quit their job, travel around South East Asia, and eventually, start their business. In one of our most inspiring interviews, yet, we hear how powerful it is to be intentional in everything you say and write.
Chari has gone on to travel to different countries around the world, donate money to those in need, and to ask the same thought-provoking question that she was asked in 2015. Looking at her life and business now, she is right where she wants to be.
Chari reminds us that as an entrepreneur it's okay to work your 9 to 5 job. Just because you work doesn't mean you can't still pursue your dreams. She credits her previous employment experiences as the reason why she knows how to run a business and how she developed herself professionally. So don't listen to those crazy memes and Facebook statuses. This Girl-Boss says you don't have to quit your 9 to 5 to be an entrepreneur; you can do both!
Make sure you tune in to hear how the girl from Queens became the Queen of her empire!
Shanice G. Richardson is a published, freelance digital content writer with over four years of marketing experience. She’s skilled in creating impactful, engaging stories that connect readers to popular brands and the people who run them.