Woman of the Month: A Dash of Chari!
She's a woman on a mission who's living a life dedicated to service and travel.
Meet Chari Chin-Young Caston, a humanitarian and travel influencer who encourages others to live with purpose! A native of New York who made Georgia her home, she is now jet-setting around the world living her dream of meshing her passion of helping mankind with travel.
Chari is a graduate of Georgia Southern University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Counseling Psychology as well as becoming a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Following graduation, she started her career as an 8th-grade teacher in South Central Los Angeles with City Year, an educational nonprofit organization. After gaining experience in that field, she realized that this program was not the right fit for her. Chari began to work in the entertainment industry for one of the #1 entertainment agencies in the world and was on the path to becoming an agent. Still feeling unfilled with her career path, she decided to leave that company and take a different course.
"It wasn't something that I truly wanted to do. I was just kind of...moving through life."
She found her calling after being asked one question.
One day, someone asked Chari and her husband, Dane Caston, a simple question that would change her view of life forever, "What inspires you the most about life and living?" As she thought of a response, she found that what fuels her and her husband is travel and service. For awhile, he expressed to her that he desired to go backpacking for a period of time to explore the world and at first, she was completely open to him going while she stayed behind to focus on her career. After much research, he was able to convince Chari to join him as he started his new journey. She agreed to go under one condition: they would have to travel with a purpose. This idea was the driving force behind the birth of their nonprofit.
She began her new life's journey by taking a bold step.
Together, Chari and Dane founded World Peace Connection in 2015 when they both decided to quit their jobs to pursue their dreams of "making service cool." Before beginning their initiative, Chari felt that it was important to start the work from within by figuring out what inspires them. Once they were ready to begin, the first stop that they made along their new path was Southeast Asia where they spent seven months interviewing over 200 people with the same question that motivated them to pack up and start a new life, "What inspires you the most about life and living?" Along the way, they interacted with some many different types of people, from locals to other travelers, which gave life to the purpose of their nonprofit. WPC is now working with schools in Gwinnett County "get students to believe in their inspiration and to turn their passion into their profession."
"Our purpose is to bring peace and change around the world."
She's working towards leaving a powerful legacy of love and light.
When Chari reflects on her life and the women who've inspired her along the way, her mother comes to mind first. Her mother instilled in her early that life has a bigger meaning than our own plans.
"Life is definitely bigger than us."
Before launching WPC, Chari didn't know what it was going to look like or how it would make an impact; however, remembering her mother's teachings, she knew that the work of this nonprofit was a part of her purpose. With WPC, she strives to leave positivity behind with each person that she interacts with along her journey. Ultimately, she hopes to leave a legacy of working for Jesus and making people feel that she is doing what He would do.
Chari wants other young women who aspire to follow a similar path to know that it's important to live according to God's plan for your life. Because it's so easy to focus on what society tells us about where we should be in life, she believes that it's okay not to know sometimes. She encourages young women to seek help and to take ownership of your dreams because no one is going to want it as bad as you do.
"If I set my mind to use the gifts that God has given me and really tap into them instead of resisting, then I will be the best 'me' that I can be."
She's on the move, so keep up with her future endeavors.
WPC has a huge collaboration in the works which Chari is excited to announce soon. She also has some motivational speaking engagements coming up, including continuing to work within various local high schools. Chari is open to making connections with others who are interested in collaborating on projects that are aligned with the purpose of WPC, so be sure to check out the social links below!
Connect with Chari and get information on World Peace Connection by visiting her website and social media: