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Entries by Idealist

3 Tips for a More Mindful (and Less Stressful) Job Search

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 4:14 PM

by Caroline Contillo for Idealist Careers Follow us on Twitter @idealistcareers and connect with us on Facebook.

Photo credit: marekuliasz, Shutterstock

Photo credit: marekuliasz, Shutterstock

Even the most serene among us can get thrown by a job search....

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How I Made the Most of My Liberal Arts Degree While Job Hunting

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 6:16 PM

By Ashley Lee

Like me, you might have realized once you got to college, choosing a major was scary. Like me, you might have felt panicked, because it can seem like a major determines not only what you'll be studying, but also what your career track will be, and what...

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Real Love Letters: My Mom's 20+ Years of Writing to Her Kids

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 2:14 PM

This story originally appeared on Idealists in Action

by April Greene

My mom is an ever-loving maverick.

Septuagenarian bicyclist, landlord of historic homes, singer in the choirs of churches she's not a member of... The lady has always rocked life with gusto and generosity, and...

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Why I Stopped Defining Myself by My Job Title

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 11:22 PM

Photo credit: Raywoo, Shutterstock
Photo credit: Raywoo, Shutterstock

When I graduated from college, I went to work in the social sector, and have remained in it ever since. At 27, I was named the number two in an organization, and...

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TAPIN: Through Self-Reflection a Broader Definition of "Social Good"

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 4:02 PM

This article originally appeared on Idealists in Action.

As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week and people across the U.S. come together to help each other and work toward solving our common problems, we'd like to pose the question: What exactly is social good?

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Do We Miscast Rural Communities as Places to Leave Behind?

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Rural communities are often portrayed in the media as unfortunate starting places -- restrictive, provincial hometowns that promising individuals must escape in order to reach their full potential.

But possibility and wealth of different kinds can be found outside big, prosperous cities. Read how one Guyanese woman saw great potential...

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Epic Playgrounds: How One Dad Is Reinventing Where America Plays

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Do you remember the playground you used to go to as a kid?

Mine was at Abbey Lane elementary school in Levittown, New York. It was a massive wooden castle, complete with tiny hidden rooms throughout, a tire moat you could crawl through, and all sorts of twisty slides and...

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Volunteering Abroad

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 10:19 AM

by Paulina Rakowska

Much has been written about how to search for and prepare for a volunteer or career opportunity abroad. But how do you select an opportunity in the first place?

The truth is, while volunteering in a different country can be a great way to give back,...

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When the Gate Swings Open: A Reflection on Love, Hip-hop and Brazil

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 5:14 PM

This story originally appeared on Idealists in Action.


Believe The Beat Trailer from Urban Body Project on Vimeo.

As a child I played with National Geographic magazines. I cut the photos carefully from their binding and positioned them on my bedroom floor. I stood in the center of each photo and communed with the imagined essence of another world. For as long as I can remember, the power and mystery of place captivated my spirit and shook my bones with a voracious sense of wonder.

In 2005, when I was 22-years-old, I landed in Rio de Janeiro with a large university grant. I carried addresses and phone numbers for various nonprofits where I'd been contracted to teach hip-hop and English to Brazilian youth. In my mind, I had plans to study dance all around the country. As a taxi drove me at a furious pace through Rio's tangled maze of steep hillside cobblestone, one clear thought rang out.

"I'm too sensitive for a city like this."

I was right, but I'd soon learn I didn't care. I cared about discovering how my sensitivity interacted with this new world. I wanted to see where the path of contradiction would lead me.

It first led me to a brown-eyed man who stalled my heart when his smile carved two dimples beside the corner of his mouth. The enchantment I felt on the nights I walked arm and arm beside him wasn't simply the magic of being young and falling in love in a foreign country. It was the sensation of being in the presence of a gatekeeper. The one who stands on the threshold of where you've been and where you are going. The one who beckons you in such an alluring way you have no choice but to cross over, regardless of whether or not they follow behind you.

At 22-years-old, travel shattered my compass and my direction became suddenly, terrifyingly fluid. That transformative year, finding love and discovering my calling happened in tandem.

On one typically sweltering Rio afternoon, my Brazilian boyfriend invited me to meet him at a beach side park where his dance company rehearsed every day. The company consisted of a dedicated crew of teenagers with a shocking well of talent and a profound enthusiasm for hip-hop dance.

For the first month I sat mesmerized and watched them rehearse. They trained and created movement, yelled out to keep going when they were exhausted, and celebrated each other's growth. For the second month I stood in the back row of their concrete stage, dancing alongside them. The third month my Brazilian boyfriend broke my heart. I debated ever returning to that park where I had spent the last 60 days humming with a familiar sense of wonder shaking in my bones.

"I'm too sensitive to handle this," I thought.

Yet I found myself back at their concrete stage, terrified and uncertain. The community of dancers I'd been spending everyday with didn't care where I'd been or who I'd dated. They only cared that when we danced we sought entry into the same unspeakable passion. Echoing every day around the park was the soundtrack of their excitement and it created a new compass within me. My brown-eyed ex ignored me, but one day it finally stopped mattering.

On the other side of the threshold the view was different. The narrative had changed. It was no longer about falling in love with a man. It was about falling in love with the story of a group of people. I began coming to practice with a camcorder in my hand. The first time I pressed record my breath stalled and my heartbeat quickened. The earth pressed into my feet. I felt certain I was exactly where I needed to be.

Since that initial discovery I've been growing into the craft of filmmaking, following this community of dancers around Brazil and other parts of the world as their story widens. I've made a hundred amateur mistakes and another hundred skillful, intuitive choices. I've kept myself in the center of my sensitivity even when the pressure mounted because that sensitivity is ultimately what makes me an alert storyteller. I have cherished every moment with the community I've filmed. I've fallen in love over and over and over again.

My editor and I recently put the finishing touches on Believe The Beat, the feature-length documentary that began eight years ago, when a sweet boy asked me my name after a dance class on a clear night in a loud city. There is sometimes a voice inside me that yearns to omit this piece of the story.

"I went to Brazil to make a film," I hear myself think. "I researched and I planned my strategy. I was intentional and grounded and focused from the start."

Then the rest of me rushes in. I am reminded of the little girl who stood on photos of foreign lands with the unknown looming. Who closed her eyes and said yes to a million possible truths.

This is what the world asks us to do. Follow the winding, complicated path toward voracious wonder. Say yes to the moments that enchant and challenge and surprise us. Walk across the threshold when the gate swings open and keep moving forward as it shuts.


Jocelyn Edelstein is a Portland filmmaker, writer, choreographer, and founder of the Urban Body Project, a multimedia collective that explores the relationship between dance, culture, and community. Her writing has been previously published in Best Women's Travel Writing 2011, Volume 8, and will be upcoming in Volume 9. When she is not making films or writing stories she is performing and teaching dance at Polaris Contemporary Dance...

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Why We Need to Overhaul Philanthropy: Interview With Peter Buffett

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 5:40 PM

This interview originally appeared on Idealist Careers.

Photo credit: Tupungato, Shutterstock

In late July Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffet and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, arguing that...

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Why I Keep Sending Books to Prisoners

(43) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 9:47 PM

This story, written by Kristin Stadum, originally appeared on Idealists in Action.

Letters from prisoners requesting books. (Photo via Kristin Stadum.)

I hate Wednesday.

I really hate Wednesday. The day wrecks me. I end up cold, tired and hungry, except...

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6 Ways to Turn a Volunteer Opportunity Into a Job

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 4:15 PM

By Kimberly Maul, Social Media and Editorial Intern at

Recently, the Corporation for National and Community Service found that people who are unemployed can increase their chances of finding a job by 27 percent by volunteering. This is because volunteering not only allows you to gain valuable...

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