Meet The Woman Who Founded ‘Only Believe’, Miss Matu Taylor
What inspiredyou to startOnlyBelieve?
I felt compelled to provide encouragement to a generation through leadership development and community engagement. Moreover, I want to support their dreams and see them implement their plans.
What is your vision for your organization?
To encourage youth and others to dream big and work hard. I want to see people embrace their gifts and talents and make a commitment to impact someone or some cause other than themselves.
How has faith played a role in life/career?
Faith is Central to who I am and what I do. I am a licensed minister and for me it is the ultimate way that I show my love towards to my LORD and to mankind. I am committed to serving others and helping others learn the value of servant-leadership. Only Believe Foundation is another way I can serve others and support others. Growing up at my church each Sunday the Pastor would say “Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy.” That stuck with me, even as I pursued a career I thought it would be an awesome way to make a living by serving people. I have worked for several non-profits and while many of them do not currently acknowledge/outwardly acknowledge any ties to believing in God or faith as a key component of their start up or day to day operation of their organization you will find all of them have a strong faith-based tie that can be seen in their original mission statement or the composition of their articles of incorporation.
I think if you are not already a successful organization or if you want to take your organization to another level you have to step out and take some risks. How did any great thing get started? Somebody believed they could do it.
How many lives have you impacted since starting OnlyBelieve?
Wow, that is a really good question. I can would say hundreds but I honestly, I have not been keeping really close track. I mean we have sign-in sheets at some events and at other times we have partnered with other community organization to increase our impact. I would rather just say we have reached a lot of people but we want to reach many more.
What are some things supporters can look forward to ?
Well we are working on a Financial Awareness program called Project S.O.A.R. that is in its pilot stage. However, we look forward to Launching that project in early 2017. Later this year we will have a leadership summit for youth and young adults and in the coming months we will host additional fitness and health projects that we hope will promote a healthy living.
How was being from LA shaped your experiences and your need to give back?
In conjunction with growing up in the oldest African American Baptist Church in Los Angeles. (The Historic Second Baptist Church) the Rodney King riots really pierced my heart in a way I cannot fully explain. All I know is I wanted to do more. I was a teenager and it was painful to live in the tension that rose in Los Angeles during the riots. I also learned that riots were not unique to that time frame but, served as a sign/signal that social and economic injustice had moved from brewing to bubbling over. I looked for opportunities to serve not as a academic requirement but because my heart was not settled. I organized my friends, even tried to start a non-profit back then, but I decided matriculating from a junior college to a four year institution might provide me with more insight and opportunity to help the disenfranchised.
Please give some words of encouragements to our readers
We all have more to offer, and more to learn and when this is truth is coupled with the desire to serve something greater than oneself then amazing things happen. #onlybelieve