Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Degobbi.
Anna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Four years ago, I transferred to the University of Miami from Parsons in New York to start my sophomore year. At that point, I was very undecided about what to major in, but I eventually landed in the School of Communications and just never left. I graduated in May of 2017 with dreams of owning a design studio at some distant point in the future. I worked in public relations and advertising, made a lot of connections and pretty much figured that was going to be the world I would be in for the rest of my life.
February 22, 2017. My whole world came crashing down. People surrounded me, trying to pull me out of an abusive relationship that just wouldn’t end. I had an amazing support system- but somehow I was emotionally stuck until around August of last year. It took a long time, but when I could see things clearly, I began realizing how fortunate I was.
What if I couldn’t afford a psychologist to help me get through the trauma? What if I didn’t have the means to pay a lawyer to help me navigate what it meant to be involved in a federal case? I was a victim, but I wasn’t the only one out there. I wasn’t the only women who experienced these things and needed to heal. I was not the only woman being questioned repeatedly by men who didn’t understand the kind of pain I was feeling.
Trauma healing, a psychologist, mental health? Too expensive. A community of women who could shine light on each other’s good, help each other and heal together? Non-existent.
So on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2018), I set out on a mission to help make mental health and traumatic healing a priority. I launched Project Babe, a 501(c) (3) organization focused on empowering women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and human trafficking. We’ve partnered with amazing organizations here in South Florida like Kristi House, Lotus House and No More Tears to help provide services free of charge. Our website provides a list of shelters that accept women and children across all 50 states and we’re currently working on different events that empower women and their dreams for successful lives.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not! I hit rock bottom and I hit it hard. But as J.K. Rowling says, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
I think some of the biggest struggles were dealing with the lack of understanding, compassion and patience from people in positions of power. Personally, I’ve been through the justice system and I feel as though it’s definitely not always fair or helpful to women.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Project Babe – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I founded Project Babe earlier this year and it has definitely been a whirlwind. But there’s nothing I love doing quite as much as this. I would have to say, I’m most proud of the community we have built and are so excited to continue building. Our monthly Women’s Circle, returning in September, has brought together women of all different cultures, ethnicities and industries, while creating a meaningful but safe space to share their stories and begin healing. Women have been able to share experiences they had been holding in since childhood. That to me is huge, to be able to provide someone with a sense of security to unburden themselves and share something that has prohibited complete mental wellness.
With that being said, our mission is to provide affordable traumatic healing and mental health services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and human trafficking. Often times, finances are a huge factor in getting and receiving help, so Project Babe has made all services free of cost.
We are a 501(c) (3) organization, completely donation based and no one takes a salary of any kind. 100% of every donation goes directly towards our monthly initiative, which is always in line with our mission, or directly to services aiding in the healing process.
One thing we’re very adamant about is providing positive environments and really empowering women (or children) to go after the lives they want. I’ve realized that empowerment is much more effective in promoting mental health and trauma healing. When paired with counseling services, career fairs, general living services and people with a sense of compassion, it truly brings out the heart of the organization.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In terms of Project Babe, we are really looking to continue with our monthly women’s circle and of course, expand our services. We’re going to be partnering with some amazing ladies in the coming months to offer yoga classes, resume building, and some great holiday events. A lot of it is secret and in the works, but I can’t wait to share it all soon!
I’m also Co-founder, with Brittany Priore of The Write Dose, of Dear Women Like Me, a collection of women’s letters written to themselves and women just like them. The topics range from motherhood to addiction, human trafficking and equality, and so much more. There’s really something for everyone and we want women to know that they are not alone in their experiences.
But I would have to say that the biggest change is in my career path, I’m returning to the University of Miami to work on my masters in psychology.
- Website: www.projectbabe.org
- Phone: 3479492244
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: weareprojectbabe
- Other: www.dearwomenlikeme.com