ShareLove.Fund, a 501(c)(3), a charitable organization chartered with the mission of empowering youth and women through the principles and teachings of yoga, is one of the fastest-growing New York start-ups. What is their secret? Founder, Ashley Share, Esq., confides that “handing over the keys” to teenage intern, Katelin Ulmer, was both necessary for their mission to create the next generation of female leaders as well as lucrative as only the creativity, passion, and innovation of youth can break through the traditional start-up barriers. Ulmer provides an account of her experiences disclosing how she came to lead ShareLove.Fund and what it all means in the life of a teen.
How did you obtain tremendous corporate responsibilities at the age of 19?
Because I was brought into ShareLove.Fund as an intern just after its launch over my school’s Winter break, there was no other workforce besides for Ashley Share, the founder, and me. As a result, I was thrown into a sink or swim rapid-fire environment. I guess it helps that I am on Tufts’ college swim team because I thrive under pressure and I definitely know how to swim!
Why, as a business, is ShareLove.Fund worth investing in?
ShareLove.Fund had the brilliant idea, which is why I was attracted to helping the cause, of certifying teenagers and vesting them with adult teaching degrees! I identified with the high school students who were subject to their parents and teachers making demands on them 24/7 during the Covid-19 pandemic, which isolated my age group. With everyone so fearful during this lockdown, I saw the importance of giving ShareLove.Fund’s inaugural group of high school students a concrete program and degree to show their parents – and the world – that they do have good judgment. Empowering teenagers in this way was unprecedented terrain. I learned in my Marketing course in college that an oversaturated market is a threat to success. ShareLove.Fund exploded with popularity because it met a need by providing a previously nonexistent service; namely, a free Junior Yoga Teacher Training course accredited by Yoga Alliance and granting RYT 200 certifications.
What is the greatest benefit of your training and internship experience with ShareLove.Fund?
The mentorship program where I get to share my experiences and listen to the experiences of high school students has been incredible! The girls are so nice and eager to learn. I have two younger sisters, and I am very comfortable relating to the girls. Also, even though I am in college, I am only 19 years old and the stresses that these girls are under I still remember well. I feel blessed that I can share my experiences to help them navigate these tumultuous years!
How are you so successful in keeping up your grades, competing at the college level as a swimmer, and continuing working at ShareLove.Fund during the academic year?
I am fortunate to have learned healthy habits from my mom and the importance of a rigorous athletic routine from my dad. I also want to make the world a better place and by working nonstop at ShareLove.Fund since December of 2020, I actually have more energy because I feel inspired every day!
How might this intern and training experience at ShareLove.Fund serve you in life?
I know I can start my own company. Everything has been demystified and the pressure of getting hired after college is removed because Ashley Share and I made something out of nothing, and that is empowering!
Was earning an RYT 200 yoga teaching degree a building block in your life?
Yes! No other leadership opportunity could compare.
Could ShareLove.Fund’s program be brought to college campuses?
Yes! This program teaches college students how to harness their passion in a way that develops leadership skills and helps others. I earned my RYT 200 yoga teacher certification for free at ShareLove.Fund and the lessons I learned, such as controlling my breath and mindfulness can be shared with my swim team for example. By teaching youth and women to become yoga teachers, the good of ShareLove.Fund spreads as graduates, like myself, go on to share the benefits with others.
Would off-season sports teams benefit from the free ShareLove.Fund RYT 200 certification course?
Yes! Yoga is the only sport that is equal on both sides of the body. People think swimming is, but they are not swimmers. When you are a competitive swimmer, your neck can get tight if you favor a breathing side. Combine that with the stress of college living and studies, and you can get neck pain that then creeps to shoulder and back pain, which can lead to injuries. Yoga is a savior for athletes like myself to stay loose, limber, and injury-free.
Why is making money as a youth both necessary and empowering?
People do not realize that youth have economic stresses too. My generation faces high college tuition and stories of unemployment by recent graduates. Also, it is not psychologically healthy to be at the mercy of others for every purchase. Teenagers need to have some earnings so that they can make purchase decisions, evaluate trade-offs, and learn budgeting. ShareLove.Fund offers paid internships to graduates of their program, and working hard and earning money is both satisfying and empowering.
How would your friends describe your experience at ShareLove.Fund?
My friends are in shock about the corporate knowledge I have gained ranging from quarterly New York merchandise tax filings to monetization on YouTube. My family treats me differently based on my new confidence level. I am unafraid as I respond to circumstances from a place of abundance. In other words, I have a deep sense of faith that I will never be destitute because I created something out of nothing with creativity and hard work, two replenishing resources within me always. That sense of completeness is holistic empowerment.
Ulmer is not the only ShareLove.Fund intern who is a rising star. Ashley Share disclosed that she is in discussions with certain of her recent high school program graduates with respect to joining ShareLove.Fund’s board of directors to both provide a youth leadership opportunity as well as enhance the board’s leadership by the inclusion of a youth perspective.