Gayela Bynum

Program Manager, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Focuses on Food Desert, Human Trafficking and health issues; additionally, researches pertinent issues concerning the Department and participates in inter-agency committees on Women and Trauma and Human Trafficking.

Ms. Bynum is heavily involved in the metro DC community – serves on the Board of Opera Camerata of Washington, formerly served eight years on the Board of the National Press Club and, and founded We Will Survive Cancer in 2009, inspired by her daughter-in-law who was diagnosed with advanced Breast Cancer in 2005 and lost her battle to cancer in 2011. WWSC supports families who often find themselves bewildered by the ramifications of dealing with cancer – she found that families are often neglected when their loved one is diagnosed. WWSC steps-in to help these families manage everyday issues.

Additionally WWSC provides Christmas ($500 in gift cards and individual gifts) to families who otherwise would not be able to have Christmas. Christmas 2013, WWSC supported 14 families.
Ms Bynum is the proud mother of two sons (Blaine recently relocated from California to the metro DC are; and, Brad, living in Georgetown Texas with her grandson Reid).

SCN Interview:

Mali: What visions did you have for life when you were a child?
Gayela: I always wanted to do something significant – I thought it would be through my singing when I was young but along the way, I lost my singing voice and the vision was overtaken by the events and happenings in my life.

Mali: What is your personal philosophy on life now?
Gayela: Life is a challenge – everyday is new – I’ve learned that I have no control over the events around me so I’ve learned to take each new event as it comes and try to make the most out of the experience. I value the challenges. I value the education that comes with change and look forward to many new events and experiences.

Mali: What career path have you chosen or what services or products do you offer to your clients or consumers?
Gayela: My full time work is with the government in public affairs. Recently Human Trafficking and Food Desert and health issues are my point of focus.

Mali: What motivates you to get up every day and do your work in the world? (Your WHY)
Gayela: The world is full of persons less fortunate than I. My contribution seems small, but more than anything I expect to contribute to make life a bit easier for others.

Mali: How do you find your peace and happy place to continue SOARing when faced with challenges?
Gayela: In my younger years, I was continually stressed – somewhere along the way, I developed the attitude that I could not control other people, only myself – I had to learn to develop patience and forgiveness, which were two of my biggest challenges. Exercise, time alone and assessing my own actions helped me find peace.

Mali: What are some words of wisdom you would like to share with our S.O.A.R. community?
Gayela: Life is a precious gift – choose your actions and words wisely – once words are spoken, and actions done, you cannot take them back. We all make mistakes so we must learn to forgive ourselves when we err from our norm!