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Shine - A Passion Celebration (September Edition)


Shine - A Passion Celebration (September Edition)

What is your legacy? Mozart's was his music, Picasso’s was his art and for our Shine event this September we encouraged our Passion Co. community to shape it and begin living it fully.

Inspired by Burning Man and officiated by Anisha Desai), who launched her ceremony business, the event was truly a huge success and challenged everyone present to identify one thing holding them back from their legacy, what they need to do to move one step closer to it and finally to take a marigold blossom – a symbol of passion, creativity and possibility – and make a commitment to their legacy.


The main focus, of course, was our latest group of 15 inspiring individuals, who took to the stage at non-profit community-based arts organization Galería de La Raza to showcase their Passion Projects after completing our 5 week program.

Divya Silbermann launched ‘Brave Stories,’ a website to share personal stories of overcoming loss.

Devastated by the sudden death of her fiancé from meningitis in 2002 after moving to the US from India, she believes that despite the huge number of social networking sites, it's still very difficult to find genuine stories of hardship and grief.

She said: 

My goal is to inspire someone who might be going through something similar. No one is going to give you magical advice that will make you feel better instantly, but you’re not alone.

Sierra Campbell debuted her non-toxic collection of beautifully designed yoga mats, Ventana Yoga.

After working on the line for 10 months, she decided to sign up for the program as she “needed an extra push.”

She said: 

Launching my own company, I felt really isolated and I needed a community. Most of my friends after month 5 or 6, when I would say I’m launching this and I would want support from them, their response would be, you haven’t launched it yet or they would focus on problems. The Passion Co. focused on excitement, solutions and solving things together.

Asked about the most difficult challenge she faced, she said: 

Keeping enthusiasm and finding a responsible manufacturer.


Attendees tucked into the delicious Hummus bar provided by Yamba Hummus and sipped on honey wine by Bee D'Vine.

Amanda Shareghi read a hilarious excerpt from a feature about her love life that she plans to submit to the New York Times’ Modern Love column, while DJ and yoga enthusiast Elliott Adams unveiled, where he shares unique electronic beats designed to blend tempo with movement.


Noelia Ruiz-Angel grew up playing the violin, but life got in the way until recently.

At the beginning of the program she made a commitment to start practicing again every day and wowed guests with her incredible performance at the event.

Sanjana Reddy and Vaishnavi Bodanapu created illustrations for a family cookbook and Aline Rudenisch showed off her unique hand-made fashion items.

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

Check out our Facebook page to see more pictures from our most recent event!

Written By: Aoife Anderson

Photo Credit: Nina Menconi




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