‘I dwell in possibility…’ – Emily Dickinson

Tamil Chellaiah

Tamil Chellaiah (FL '11) manager, Ernst & Young

Focus Louisville – November 2011

Focus Louisville did an amazing job of raising my awareness and helping me forge a connection to a city in which I otherwise have no ties.

I have been commuting to town from Washington, D.C. for many months to serve some of Louisville’s great companies. When the opportunity to relocate was presented, I could not have been more excited about the professional path ahead. However, being accustomed to life in a bigger city, I still needed convincing on the personal effects of becoming a ‘Villian.

In advance of my move, I was encouraged to participate in the November Focus Louisville class to meet some new folks and learn what the city has to offer in terms of housing, education, local government, public works and civic/philanthropic initiatives. I had no idea that I would gain so much more from this experience!

Focus Louisville not only exposed me to the city’s many strengths but also its areas of opportunity. We got an insider’s view of some of Louisville’s state-of-the-art public schools, most challenged neighborhoods, mayoral initiatives, the arts and zoo as well as the array of services available for those in need. Not only were we exposed, but at each stop we were given clear instructions on how we can GET INVOLVED. This was the key element. The program is not just about raising awareness but effecting change and our class did just that.

In the days after Focus Louisville, we each found accountability partners (mine is a fellow transplant hailing from Los Angeles), identified the causes dearest to us and made moves to become a part of the solution. Even months later, through the chaos of the holidays and with the ringing in of a new year, our classmates still send updates on what we are doing and how others can join in.

I cannot help but wonder what could happen if more cities had something like Focus Louisville to bring together global thinkers committed to acting locally in order to make their communities better places to work and live. I am proud to be moving to a city that celebrates its strengths and is honest about its weaknesses. It is here that real possibility lies. Thank you, Focus Louisville, for helping make Possibility City my new home!

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