The Opportunities Project

The Opportunities Project Announces Its Second Annual Scholarship Program Winners

Six women seeking to change the world will receive free career and leadership coaching in an effort to disrupt traditional beliefs about professional success and make a social impact


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/13/2012 -- To support its social mission of challenging the status-quo on career choices, and express gratitude for two years of successful business expansion, The Opportunities Project, a national career coaching and recruitment consulting organization, has selected the winners of its Second Annual Scholarship Program. With the support of its new coach and Chief Officer for Strategy, Tanisha Christie, Chief Executive Officer and President Tracy Brisson doubled the number of scholarships The Opportunities Project offered this year.

Recent national economic reports demonstrate that more people, especially women, are rejecting the traditional corporate and government career ladder in order to achieve greater creative, economic and personal satisfaction, and voluntarily quitting their jobs to do just that. The Opportunities Project is ready to support anyone who shares these values through its services and special programs.

The winners of The Second Annual Scholarship Program were chosen from dozens of applicants and have all demonstrated they are ready to launch professional endeavors that will also serve others. Each lucky scholarship winner will receive four free one-hour Skype coaching and leadership sessions with Tracy or Tanisha to help them set and achieve goals, make decisions, create and execute plans, and overcoming obstacles.

The following winners were selected.

Break the Ceiling Scholarships (for individuals underrepresented in their fields or who have overcome institutional barriers to success): Heather Wiggins and Faith Bell

Heather, based on out of the Washington, DC area, is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and The Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science. She is currently a writer, entrepreneur, and also a Copyright Specialist at the Library of Congress.

Faith is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio. She is a writer inspired by travel, constant reading, and the calm of drinking tea. She has recently become more open to exploring a wide range of career options in order to connect her passions with her intent to serve others.

Social Entrepreneur Scholarship (for individuals launching a social initiative): Ai Hirashiki

Ai is a New York City based educator with over 15 years experience working with schools, non-profits, community groups. Ai is working on creating her own consulting practice to help educators and non-profit groups launch educational programs that revolve around urban farms and gardens.

Creative Development Scholarship (for individuals creating value for the world through artistic work): Kara Smith

Kara is a painter and mixed media artist and also runs a small terrarium company called Undiscovered Worlds where she teaches terrarium making workshops to children and adults. She is a student in the Masters in Art Education program at Brooklyn College.

The Big Change Scholarship (for individuals taking a big professional risk): Alexandra Kenin and Shawdra Russell

Alexandra is a New Jersey native who now lives happily ever after in San Francisco. After earning her MBA in Marketing at The Wharton School, Alexandra worked as a Product Marketing Manager at Google for 4 1/2 years. She is now launching her new urban hiking business, Urban Hiker SF.

Shawndra Russell is a social media strategist, freelance writer, and novelist. Her debut novel, Couple Friends, was released in August 2012. She is launching a social media company based in Savannah, Georgia that offers analysis and live event coverage.

The winners will begin coaching in late September.

“I'm thrilled to provide guidance to Kara and Alexandra,” said coach Tanisha Christie.” These two women have strong visions and are in a great phase in their planning. Our work together will take them to the next level of their success."

“I started The Opportunities Project in 2010 because I believe that all people can live great professional lives on their own terms while satisfying their financial needs if they have the right mindset and strategy, not just me,” said Tracy Brisson. “Every applicant rocked and I am inspired by their commitment to creating great work for themselves. I look forward to helping Heather, Faith, Ai, and Shawndra any way I can.”

Complete details on the scholarship contest, including a link to more complete bios on every winner, and updates on the successes the 2011 winners achieved, can be found on Second Annual Scholarship Program website. Every applicant also received a free copy of Tracy Brisson’s book, Create Your Own Opportunities, available in PDF and on and Barnes and Noble.

About The Opportunities Project
The Opportunities Project is a career coaching and recruitment consulting organization. Since launching in 2010, The Opportunities Project has helped over 1,000 individuals make change in their professional lives through speaking, workshops, products and direct coaching, and has assisted organizations in hiring over 500 new employees through its consulting services.

Through its career coaching programs, The Opportunities Project empowers individuals to create their own opportunities, command their economic games, and disrupt the existing career development system by providing new solutions. The Opportunities Project is led by Tracy Brisson, a career expert with over 15 years of recruitment experience. Brisson’s career and recruitment advice has been featured in The New York Post, Time Out New York, and on The Ladders, Mashable, and CBS Money Watch among other publications.