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Shine - A Passion Celebration (May Edition)


Shine - A Passion Celebration (May Edition)

THE PASSION CO. community gathered together for an elegant and inspiring Shine celebration last week, honoring the passion projects of a new group of 15 people, who recently completed our 5 week program.

The evening was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces turn up to socialize, engage and support those who made a commitment to push themselves out of their comfort zones and reconnect with their dreams.

Maya Katherine joined the program to help her complete her debut documentary, Hasa Film, about her extraordinary journey to meet her birth mother in Bengal after being adopted by an American family as a baby.

She said: 

I loved being held accountable because it really put a fire under me and that’s exactly what I needed.

“I was terrified and having panic attacks all week, but being able to show the trailer to such a supportive and kind community makes me feel very confident to move forward and show it to the rest of the world.


She added: 

I would absolutely recommend the program. Everyone was super caring and kind; they were my biggest cheerleaders.

Initially uncertain about what passion project she wanted to pursue, Emily Ostendorf opted to flex her adventurous muscles in her own backyard by exploring Bay Area towns she only ever passed through on her daily BART commute, like Richmond and Millbrae.

She said: 

I just wanted to do something fun and not feel under pressure to do something that had a bigger purpose.”

“For me the unexpected thing about the program and what I loved was being able to give other people ideas about their projects. It just felt good to be in the community, share and help them achieve.

Designer Damian Madray signed up to help him reignite his passion project, an organization called TheGlint that hosts gatherings for creative individuals to share ideas and get involved in conversations that promote positive change within their communities.

He said: 

I think it’s great being around people who are doing. It’s also cool seeing people chase their passions; it’s really inspiring and motivating.

Entrepreneur and life coach Lucy Keoni’s project saw her explore her dream of spearheading a social innovation collective.

She said: 

I think the program spoke to this dormant piece of me. I always wanted to change the world, but life took a toll so I never really got around to doing what I wanted to do.

I broke a pattern that was keeping me from excelling in a lot of areas of my life. Now I feel there are infinite possibilities in front of me and as long as I’m connected to my passion and my desire to serve humanity, there is no failing.

More than 400 people have taken the leap and completed our empowering program to date, pursuing passion projects in everything from writing a book and making a documentary, to designing an innovative app.

If you want to discover or reconnect with your passion, join our next Find Your Passion Program.

Beginning on June 2, the upcoming session will be led by esteemed counselor and life coach Carla Bagdonas, who helps people answer important questions and believes there is no better time than the present to start living the life you've been waiting for.

Places are extremely limited so click here to sign up now and check out our Facebook page to see more pictures from our most recent event!

Written By: Aoife Anderson

Photo Credit: Ellen Wildhagen



Shine - A Passion Celebration (April Edition)


Shine - A Passion Celebration (April Edition)

THE PASSION CO. hosted a magical event on Wednesday evening, honoring a new group of 15 inspiring individuals who committed to our month-long program and kick-started their own passion projects.

More than 200 members of our community gathered to toast their success, learn about their unique journeys and watch them Shine after reconnecting with their dreams.

Ellie Thiele had no idea what her passion was when she started the program, but rediscovered her love of painting.

She explained: “When I signed up I had no idea, which was the coolest part, and during the exercises it just kind of came to me.”

She reached out and spoke to a small number of her “creative idols” and produced four works of art based on their processes.

“We’re paired with a buddy to make sure we stayed on task and followed through,” she said. “My buddy ended up being my neighbor so I made a friend out of it too, which is so fun and cheesy."

“I learned that I had absolutely missed painting, creating and connecting with creative people outside my immediate circle. I came home from meeting with the whole group on a high. I was just so excited and happy to start on my project. I spent every Saturday working on this and they were the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.”

Guests enjoyed Spring-flavored cocktails by Sigh Sonoma and sweet treats by the Three Babes Bake Shop and Dandelion Chocolate.

Jenny Molyneaux presented her findings after interviewing people impacted by the gentrification of the Mission district, while ‘Girls’ fan Isabel Campanelli realized her goal to share her raw experiences as a twenty-something single girl in San Francisco, on a blog called

She said: “It was a great experience. I really trust Jessica; she’s a great mentor and friend. The program really helped me to hone in on what my passion is and how to realistically get it done."

“At the end of 30 days I wanted to have something to present so badly, and I’ve learned that following my dream and really listening to my gut is the most important thing."

“If you have a dream, a passion or something you want to try or do, why not do it with this amazing group of people. It really feels like a family, and, if I was going to start anything I’m scared of, I’d rather have a team of people behind me than no one.”

Vanessa Sabarese showcased an interactive exhibit using animal and mythical characters to spark old memories, dreams and help visitors tap into their unconscious, while Birute Maknyte opened up about ditching her vices for a month before leading a short session of the ancient Chinese healing practice of Qi Gong.

Kaley Isabella performed a freestyle dance after exploring self-expression in movement and sound, and Tyler Pugliese provided some thought provoking entertainment as he shared his slam poetry piece about his frustrations with the Government, its policies and his role as a freedom-loving citizen.

Other speakers included our wonderful Passion Stories muse and author Adam Poswolsky.

The event was a huge success and THE PASSION CO. founder Jessica Semaan said: “Thank you for everyone who showed up shared their dreams, talked about them, supported others in theirs. We are able to be, and make change in the world because of this community of believers and dreamers. THE PASSION CO. team is forever grateful.”

If you would like to find your passion, check out details for our next program here

Go to our Facebook page to see more pictures from this event!

Written By: Aoife Anderson

Photo Credit: Nina Menconi