AUSTIN, Texas — Have you ever met someone who you can tell they are destined to do great things no matter what the circumstances are? You can’t exactly put your finger on where this feeling comes from – but you just know that whatever they set their mind to – they will achieve it.
What You Need To Know
- Born and raised in Austin Texas.
- Went to 13 different schools as a kid.
- One of 7 children.
- BIG Classic rock fan.
- Secret talent: amazing singer who can give Alicia Keys a run for her money.
Our next Society guest provides this feeling when you speak with her – please welcome, Gabby Rodz.
It’s Monday night the weekend after the Kentucky Derby and I’m dragging from spending the weekend in Louisville having a blast, but also getting stuck in the airport for 8 hours and not making it home till midnight. The long and the short of it is our plane pilots timed out waiting to take us back to Austin due to weather and we had to wait for another flight.
Chaos? Yes. Travelers not pleased. Yes. People helping people and being nice? YES! (Wait what?) That’s right, oddly enough – the airport travelers were offering overwhelming support to one another. From Chris Harrison lending fellow passengers his phone charger and checking the radar meticulously to Lauren Zima sharing drinks with fellow airport nomads – at the core, it was people helping people.
The reason I tell this story is that I don’t think I’ve met anyone like Gabby who has made it her life’s goal to help others – regardless of what that looks like. Gabby was born and raised in Austin, is one of seven children to a single mother who moved around to thirteen different schools as a kid.
A lot, right?
I asked Gabby how her childhood shaped her path to helping others.
“We moved around a lot as a kid and honestly things at home weren’t always great” Gabby explained. “When you’re a kid you don’t know how bad things are but I’m very grateful for all that I went through – it made me the resilient person I am today.”
As Gabby speaks her story becomes tangible and you can feel the weight that it presents – however her voice carries a sense of resilience, determination and drive.
We dig deeper on what makes her, her.
“Want to know what really fills my tank?” She says with a smirk. Yes, yes I do Gabby. “Helping people and getting feedback from others” she says firmly. “When I’m feeling down or depressed, I need to make other people feel better, when I help other people, it makes me feel whole again. I feel fulfilled doing it, and I embrace being that anchor for a lot of people in my life”
There’s no question if Gabby was stuck in the airport with all of us for eight hours, she would have done everything in her power to help every single person there. You can just sense her giving nature and energy.
But where did this desire to help come from?
“I went to school for a major in zoology oddly enough” she says with a laugh. “I just pivoted from animals to people because, why not? At the end of the day, I just genuinely care about people and want them to do well – It was so great being at the first Society launch and hearing Zach (Nyoki) talking about people lifting others up – that resonated so much with me”
I close out by asking Gabby her plans to facilitate this passion for helping others and what this looks like for her.
“I 100% want to have my own space at some point where people can connect in a safe, open environment. All these skills I’ve learned all the way back to childhood have made me the person I am today, and I want to continue to share that with others” Gabby explains. “We are always figuring it out, and I’ve learned that nobody knows with 100% certainty what we are all doing – we are just all in it together – and creating a space that embraces this is my goal and vision”
As we end the interview its clear that Gabby, like everyone in the airport I was stuck with – embraces the craziness of life with a smile, and open hand for support and a genuine willingness to make the world a better place. Sure, there are times that come up in our life that challenge us– but having lifelines of others to help you through is what makes humans such a resilient bunch.
Gabby embodies all the characteristics of someone that you can rely on for anything, at any time – and because of this, she WILL do great things for herself, but more importantly – for others.