Today we’d like to introduce you to Marly Q. Casanova.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Marly. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Wow! I’ve got to take it all the way to elementary school to answer this question but I’ll try my best to be brief! 🙂
I first discovered my passion for Performing Acts of Random Kindness in 4th grade when my teacher told me that kindness was my superpower. She acknowledged me for doing small acts of kindness every day like smiling, saying good morning, giving hugs, high-fives and holding the door open for people. She told me that kindness is what makes a real difference in the world and told me that I was a superhero! I BELIEVED HER!
By the time I got to high school, this superpower of kindness was a natural part of who I was. So much so that, to my surprise, I graduated with 3,000+ hours of community service leading after-school clubs and planning events to inspire others to be kind and of service to one another, the community and the world at large.
In college, I wanted to do more and was the SPARK of creating a legacy of kindness on campus after starting what became one of the largest students ran fundraising events in all of South Florida raising well over $1M in the fight against cancer since it’s inception.
All of my volunteer work creating events to inspire people to unite and make a difference opened doors for career opportunities I never could’ve imagined like working for one of the largest non-profits in the US and working as a public servant for local government planning large-scale community events for 40,000+ people year round.
At the age of 25, I decided to quit my job to become a full-time philanthropist and social entrepreneur starting my own event consulting firm AND a non-profit volunteer-driven movement on a mission to inspire people to PARK (Performing Acts of Random Kindness) worldwide.
I’ve been on this journey since 2010 but I’m always humbled to share that I was blessed to start my path to where I am today when I was just 10 years old thanks to my teacher telling me that kindness is my superpower.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Heck NO! Absolutely ZERO part of my journey has been easy and I don’t presume to think that anyone who wants to make a big impact in the world has a smooth road either. It was hard to juggle being a full-time student while I worked 2 jobs and was immensely involved in school. It was hard taking a full load of credits in college while working full time for a large non-profit and it was even harder going to grad school while working for the local government!
Frankly, I was very unhealthy and practiced absolutely no self-love and kindness. I was 30 pounds overweight, I suffered from chronic stress, sleep deprivation, anxiety and constant migraines trying to be the perfect student, daughter, sister, girlfriend, employee AND try to be a superhero on my spare time! I knew absolutely NOTHING about starting a business or a nonprofit when I decided to quit my job and I struggled financially for many years figuring out how to make a living doing what I love.
But guess what? Here I am. Was it hard getting to where I am today? YES!
Is there a long road still ahead? YES! But is all worth it? YES, YES, YESSS!
Please tell us about PARK Project.
Put simply, I am myself for a living! The name of my business is Marly Q. LLC. and I am an inspirational speaker, emcee, coach and strategic event creator specializing in large-scale philanthropic and community building events. I’m passionate about helping people start, build, and grow their non-profits into profitable businesses so they can make a bigger impact AND income year round.
PARK Project Inc, is a 501c3 non-profit, and volunteer-driven movement on a mission to inspire people to Perform Acts of Random Kindness (PARK) worldwide through events like the award-winning 5K PARK Fest and community service initiatives like Flash Mobs of Kindness and SPARK Coins that tracks kindness as it moves from person to person.
Whether I am wearing my “for profit” or “nonprofit” hat, my Vision is to create a World where Everyone Performs Acts of Random Kindness (#wePARK).
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I’d have to say that my favorite childhood memory is the day my 4th-grade teacher told me that kindness is my superpower.
- Address: 14411 Commerce Way Suite 350
Miami Lakes, FL 33016
- Website: www.parkproject.org
- Phone: 786-571-7732
- Email: marlyQ@parkproject.org
- Instagram: wePARK
- Facebook: facebook.com/theparkproject
- Twitter: wePARK
- Other: www.virtualeventcoach.com