Each week, #SpanningtheNeed will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Derrick McDowell from Youngstown Flea & Wean Park.
Name: Derrick McDowell
Position: Founder of The Youngstown Flea
Organization: Community Engagement & Inclusion Coordinator of Wean Park
Bio: Derrick McDowell, a native son of the Southside of Youngstown, Oh and a graduate of Chaney High School, is a passionate creative, public speaker, community activist & entrepreneur. He takes his undying love for the people of the City of YOUngstown, and his desire to show them their value, worth and significance, into everything he does.
From developing the movement known as “We Are A Generation” a collective “call to action” for communities, to his efforts as the Founder of The Youngstown Flea (a once-per-month “Market for Makers” with the focus of a micro-incubator ecosystem and an economically sustainable platform to assist small business owners and successful brands alike), to his role as Community Engagement & Inclusion Coordinator with the Wean Park Complex, to his TEDx Youngstown appearance — Derrick constantly looks for ways to deliver as much impact as possible.
What made you want to go into this field?
A deep love for the people of the City of Youngstown
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
Hope. Love. Faith.
What is the biggest professional mistake you made along the way?
Not truly knowing myself.
What is the hardest decision you ever had to make in this field?
Not really sure.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently regarding your profession?
I would have worked to “find myself” much sooner, so that the work I was doing THEN, would be done in a much more “authentic-to-being-me” degree.
What inspires you to do good in our community?
The people who so deserve it.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering in our community?
I would humbly submit that I am no volunteer. I’m vested in our community. It is the joy of truly seeking to serve the people of Youngstown is my honor and pleasure.
What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life?
Maybe I live too crazy of a life to be summed up in a song or soundtrack; lol!
What is your best accomplishment/experience in life?
Finding my faith, which guides me.
Who is your role model and Why?
My Mother and brothers. A hero to me, is someone who takes the impact for another. My mom and brother’s took great impact in this life, to protect me and it ultimately allowed me to be who I am today.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
God. I’ve got a few questions.
A favorite quote that you live by?
To whom much is given, much is required.