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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