Anyrah Moffett is following her dreams and finding success in pursuing a career in poetry in New York City. But before she branched out, Anyrah had a thriving career in marketing, which she credits with helping her build a foundation for the work she does now.
“Your 9-5 is your sponsorship for your dream,” says Moffett. “You need money to get to do these kinds of endeavors and you need to understand the key components of being successful.”
Currently, Moffett works three days a week at an elementary school where she teaches poetry, performs her spoken word poetry, and then works from home writing and selling a merch line based on a viral video she posted of one of her poems. But this is just the start, Moffett has big plans for her new career.
“I would like to become a residency poet,” says Moffett. “I would like to opportunity to tour more nationally and internationally working through an agency. I would also like to get a publishing deal. Those are my goals for the next 3-5 years.”
To pursue that, Moffett has been applying for grants, submitting her work for different opportunities, and working on making connections and putting herself out there.
Although she has had years to learn what it takes to launch her new career, taking TeenQuest and working through Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) helped give her the building blocks to develop those skills.
How did the lessons learned in TeenQuest/SYI help you on your path to this position?
I would say first, the point of getting up and going to work every day, that was super important. Finances too, I was like 15 getting a paycheck consistently. It helped me manage my money and save.
What has stuck with you from the program?
Learning interviewing and resume skills. Those are core things that you need today.
What has been your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?
Graduating from college! My last year was difficult for me, and I was on the verge of quitting. But with the internships I got and getting a job at a Fortune 500 company, that was monumental for me.
What advice would you offer other TeenQuest students?
Everything that you learn can be used for the future. These are core pillars for building a life that you want, just be prepared to ask as many questions as possible and be eager to jump in.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.