Sunday, June 23, 2024

Empoy seeks to expand the vision of Irving youth

Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey spend an afternoon answering questions for youth during Empoy’s inaugural Leadership Unplugged event recently. Misaki Collins (right) served as the emcee. (Courtesy photo)

By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor

Some people talk about making a difference; others roll up their sleeves and take action. Parents and members of the Irving community came together last fall to launch Empoy. The organization seeks to help inform youth about the full range of career options available to them as they consider their future and also help shape how they define success. 

“Success is not defined by a job title or how much money you make,” Fatema Biviji, a member of Empoy pointed out. “We want to hammer into them and help them equate compassion with success.”

Too often, kids define themselves by their analytics: how many friends do they have on Twitter, how many likes did their latest photo receive on Instagram? 

“It is very easy to think numbers quantify success. However, whatever you do in life must to have a foundation of compassion embedded in it,” Biviji stated. “Otherwise, it is very likely you may not find contentment in that achievement.”

Expanding their vision for their future includes putting them in touch with those who model success and compassion in different professional arenas. 

“When surrounded by people who are doing blue-collar jobs, you may not have access to people outside of that realm.” 

It makes it harder for young people to see themselves as a doctor or a lawyer when they do not actually know one or see anyone in their family in a similar leadership role.

“I want to provide our kids with all the options available to them,” Biviji added. “Sometimes, when you see someone local, you feel more connected to those opportunities.”

To this end objective, one of their first projects was to launch a monthly series bringing students together with local leaders. Recently, Chief Jeff Spivey was the inaugural speaker for their Leadership Unplugged series. Chief Spivey provided insights on how he rose from being a police officer giving out traffic tickets to an undercover narcotics detective. From there, he went on to work on a drug task force at DFW airport for three years and more before rising to police chief in Irving three years ago. 

The next event is Saturday, Feb. 8, with David Pfaff, the president and CEO of Plastronics Socket Company. The Irving organization is an international manufacturer of electrical connectors for the semiconductor industry. Pfaff is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Irving – Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. The event is 3 p.m. at the West Irving Library located at 4444 W. Rochelle Road. 

All local youth are invited and can register at


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