JEEP: Path to Purpose JEEP: Path to Purpose

JEEP: Path to Purpose

Aug 23, 2017

Everyone has a purpose and path in life, it’s up to them to find it. None of us will traverse through our life’s journey without running into obstacles and roadblocks, both personal and professional. It’s how we maintain motivation and navigate around these obstacles that shape our character.

RYOT has come together in partnership with the all-new Jeep Compass, to tell the stories of people who are ready to make their ambitions a reality in this new series titled “Path to Purpose.” Known for their visual storytelling, RYOT turns its focus in this fascinating series on a variety of individuals that haven’t let the rough terrain of life throw them off course.

Hopefully, these stories will inspire you to explore your own purpose and embrace the journey, wherever it might take you.

Ambay Tessema

“Being a first generation American, I’ve been an interpreter all of my life, says Ambay Tessema. “I still feel very connected to my Ethiopian roots.”

Ambay knows exactly what it feels like to be an outsider, the new kid who doesn’t know anybody and is unsure how to navigate the social structure of a new place. That’s why today he works as a freelance language interpreter in Aurora, Colorado.

It’s a job that he never set out to do, but felt he was called to do because of his upbringing. “I felt as though I was missing out on the exact dreams that I wished to accomplish,” Tessema says about his decision to leave the corporate world.

Tessema came to the U.S. from Ethiopia at just nine-years old and now helps fellow Ethiopian immigrants settle into American life. The Denver metro area has a growing Ethiopian community of 30,000 and Tessema is constantly working to help foster support and nurture those who may feel lost.

Leaving the stability of a consistent job was risky, admits Tessema, but he says he can’t imagine going back now. “There’s nothing like the feeling of being your own boss and setting your own schedule.” With language being the most important part of human communication, Tessema takes joy in the fact that every day he helps people flourish and create a home. “It excites me.”

Christa David

Christa David is an artist who gave up the stability of a 9-to-5 job to follow her own path to purpose and embrace the art inside of her that was begging to get out.

“Your purpose, whatever that thing is that you’re supposed to do, it’s going to keep presenting itself to you. It’s going to keep tugging and tugging, until it’s absolutely painful. It’s your responsibility to embrace what it is you were created to do, and embrace it wholeheartedly. No one else can do it for you.”

For Christa, that purpose meant throwing herself and her career fully into her art. It was a decision to leave her job as a public health researcher that the New York City-based artist admits was scary, but the path that her life had led her to. “You know something is for you when it makes you feel a certain way, and this just feels right,” Christa said about her decision to commit fully to her passion.

It wasn’t a decision that Christa made on a whim, but something she contemplated about for years. The visual artist who specializes in collages and painting, spent her weekends and nights doing art for five years, before finally making the leap to full-time artist.

“I love my Mondays now,” Christa says on her website, and spends her days combing through the city’s thrift stores looking for textiles to use in her art. She credits the city for shaping her into the woman and artist that she is today and feels that her collages symbolize the community she calls home.

“When you think about it, community is like a collage,” said Christa. “The physical environment is like the canvas. The people are like the colors and elements. And our shared humanity is like the glue that holds us all together.”


Photo credits: Matt Seger