Kim Bogucki (Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award)
Producer and Co-Founder of the If Project
Bio: Kim Bogucki posed the following question to a group at the Washington Correction Center for Women: “If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?” and the If Project was born. Bogucki’s question sparked such great inspiration in one inmate that she decided to share with her fellow prisoners and asked them to take their time and truly consider their responses. They too felt empowered by Bogucki’s question and felt the desire to not only search themselves to find what could have changed their own lives, but a larger desire to impart this information to help others. Through them, Bogucki and the If Project search for answers and hope to prevent others (namely youth) from doing the same. To date, more than 240 essays have been collected.
What does it mean to be honored by the Storm as part of Women of Inspiration Night?
Honestly, it's an amazing honor. However, in the work that I do I feel like there are may more women deserving of this award. Without these women inspiring me I would not be able to do the work that I have been able to do.
What women have inspired you in your life and career?
On a personal, level my grandmother constantly inspires me. At 90 she is actively involved in her community. My entire life, I have watched her volunteer tirelessly and give to others - usually before ever giving to herself. She has been an inspiration and role model and mentor for me. On a professional level, the women of The IF Project have deeply inspired and motivated me. Forming this unlikely bond between cop and convict to achieve a common goal of positive change has redefined the way I do my day to day job and live my day to day life.
In your work, how have you seen role models make a positive difference in the lives of others?
I believe role models and mentors are one of the most important things in anyone's life, especially kids. A role model is a person that inspires a child to dream and a mentor is someone who steps in and shows them the path to achieve it. In my work I see a notable difference in self-esteem, self-awareness and self-motivation from kids who have an active mentor or strong role model in their life. The more adults can engage kids on common ground, the more successful these kids become.