Roni Willett: Young Philanthropist

My NativeAdVert:

Roni Willett, 23, is a young philanthropist and financial analyst based in NYC.  She is involved with many non-profit organizations such as the CFDA Fashion Trust, the Michael Milken Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Whitney Museum and several other organizations.  With her Art History degree from the University of Southern California, she curated a week-long members pop-up club for African heads of state, ambassadors and their aides during the 2018 UN General Assembly called Africa House.  She is currently a student at the University of Southern California interdisciplinary master’s program that was created by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

My Goal of the Day is to make time to do something creative! Since I’ve graduated from school and began working in finance I found myself not making time for creative pursuits. Making time to be creative everyday leads to an increase in your overall well-being. I try to start side projects that force me to be creative. For example, I am currently working on making a documentary and a few months ago I was busy curating the art for a space designated to the African delegation during the 2018 UN General Assembly.

My Thought of the Day is to remember that stress comes from the way you respond to an issue not the issue itself. If you adjust your attitude rather than blame the world the stress is gone.

My Action of the Day is to walk home from work. When you sit in an office all day it is important to allocate time to walk around and breath in some fresh air. It’s crazy how only 15 minutes of walking outside can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.

My Deed of the Day is to be genuine to people around me! Being genuine makes you a more pleasant person and easier to be around which is important in a highly competitive work environment.

My Tip of the Day is to make sure to learn something new everyday! Intelligence is not fixed! The more you learn the smarter and more interesting you become. 

My Pic of the Day:

What do you love most about Your City?

Besides the fact that my family lives in NYC, I would have to say the endless options of cuisine, social activity and culture is what I love most about the city I live in. You have the world at your fingertips in New York and that isn’t something any New Yorker or NYC visitor should take for granted.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast meal would have to be the avocado toast topped with a poached egg from The Mark hotel’s restaurant.  My days are very long and I need a big breakfast to start my day.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – getting ready for work

10:00 AM - in the office

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

The lentil salad and eggplant parmesan from Sant Ambroeus SoHo. The food and ambiance at Sant Ambroeus is unrivaled by any other place in NY.  

7:00 PM - leaving work to head to a workout. I typically do a group class such as Soul Cycle, Tracy Anderson or play tennis with my mom.

11:00 PM - hopefully sleeping!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Matcha! It gives you energy without the jitters and is filled with antioxidants!

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I use the Shazam app the most because my friends play the best music that I love to listen to later! My favorite Instagram account is Futurism because it keeps me up to date with all the new, exciting and crazy innovations becoming more readily available. This is particularly important to me because of the master’s program I am in that focuses on business, entrepreneurship, technology and design.  The aim of the program is to use these different fields cohesively to become or create the next disrupter.

What should everyone try at least once?

I believe everyone should move to a different city even if only for a short time. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the University of Southern California, which is 2500 miles away from NY. The distance made me very hesitant and nervous but living in a new city made me a more independent and well-rounded person. I made new friends, gained experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything and most importantly learned a lot about myself by leaving my comfort zone. 

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

There is nothing like getting lost in a good book. One of my all-time favorite books that I could not put down is called The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans.  It is an autobiography that follows his movie producing career. I highly suggest not skipping the book to watch the movie because the movie pales in comparison to this personally written and unbelievably told story that makes your draw drop as you turn each page.