Alumni Voices, Executive Program

Leading With Values – with Jordan Muse

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In 2018, Jordan Muse (Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy, Class of 2017) worked as a Community Fellow with the Center for Social Impact Strategy. Here, she offers a reflection on what she learned from the program, alongside her experience at the 2018 CSIS Alumni Summit. 

Last month, I attended CSIS’ annual Alumni Summit – an energetic convening that helped me reflect on my own introduction, acceptance, and year in the Center’s Executive Program.

Values and principles have always guided my life.

In early November 2016 I met an Executive Program alumna for coffee – never having heard of this program before. This meeting led to an introduction, and ultimately provided the push to apply to the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy. I had just moved back to Philadelphia, and while values and principles have always guided my life, I had jumped right into the workforce; I needed to redefine my values and to start making decisions that prioritized them.

Just before the deadline, I remember arriving early at my friend’s “First Annual Friendsgiving” and slipping in her office to finish and submit my application. I forgot about my application for a few weeks, until the annual company holiday party. This party was a pretty big deal to me – especially considering it was my first with the organization – but it was memorable for another reason: at the party, I received the email notifying me that I’d been accepted into the 2017 class of the Executive Program.

The executive program continually reaffirms that the importance in creating values and following them for your life and your work. I learned about entrepreneurs who allowed their values to guide them while starting and scaling a business, and throughout the program, I met so many who stood firmly in their personal values, but also- what is right, just, and fair. It has been an inspiring reminder for myself to do better, to be a better person and to speak up – because your voice matters.

Muse (right) works with other Executive Program learners to problem-solve during the 2017 on-campus convening.

At the intersection of happy + healthy.

Although a plethora of resources and tools were available to help me develop my budding social impact idea, I used the unconventional, intangible resources provided to help me lay the foundation for museologie, my new business. Museologie is the intersection of happy + healthy. The primary goal is to build a culture and inclusive community where folks are both happy and healthy in a holistic way. Instead of being healthy in siloed fitness communities vs self-care communities vs clean-eating communities, museologie encourages combining these various aspects of well-being. Museologie raises awareness of the importance of being healthy and happy, and how to do it in Philadelphia – especially in Black and Brown communities.

As a preview of her work to come, in 2014 Muse (right) taught several tennis classes and camps across Columbia, South Carolina. This job allowed her to introduce tennis to many young people in the city, and have conversations with athletes about race, class, and other tough topics while on the court.

At the 2018 Alumni Summit, keynote speaker Omar Woodard spoke about having a strategic plan for your life and turning aspiration into action: going beyond what you think you’re capable of. It was the perfect message I needed hear – to dream big but to work towards it. After launching museologie earlier this year, I’m excited at how fluidly the mission has aligned with purpose and passion. The foundation is there, and now it’s time to build. It’s time to #MakeItHappen.

About the author: Jordan Muse is an External Affairs Associate at The Food Trust. Muse works on expanding SNAP incentives and Philly Food Bucks to supermarkets and corner stores, and helps clinicians understand “Rx:” a Food Trust program that allows clinicians to prescribe healthy food to their patients. Additionally, Muse explores the intersection of food access, equity, and social determinants of health. Jordan Muse received her Masters of Public Health from the University of South Carolina, and in 2015 participated in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship. She is a certified personal trainer and loves all types of physical activity.