Next Up Columbus 2023: Lucy Little

Lucy Little
Lucy Little

Photo courtesy of Lucy Little

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Lucy Little
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Age: 40
Profession: Payroll Specialist
Neighborhood: Blacklick
Education: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification, I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Human Resource Management from Colorado State University Global.
Community Involvement: Human Rights Campaign, Phenomenal Girls Travel
Quote: “Success is not a straight line—it’s a complex, winding, and sometimes zig-zag path. With a little extra effort on focusing and organizational skills, those of us with ADHD can find the success we are striving for.”
Connect: LinkedIn

Give us a snapshot of your path
With life acting as my professor, my journey has been one of self-improvement and ongoing learning. For the past seven years, I have worked to build a career in payroll and HR across several sectors. I’ve made the decision to finish my conventional education, and I’m presently enrolled at Colorado State University Global. My commitment to the community led me to join the Human Rights Campaign’s Board of Governors and launch my own nonprofit organization Phenomenal Girls Travel, which focuses on giving young girls the chance to explore the world. I like to think of myself as a success story that proves anything is possible.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
I’m a morning person so I usually wake up feeling motivated and excited to take on the day. I take time each morning to create an action list that helps me prioritize tasks for the day. Many mornings, I also enjoy taking a walk or doing some form of physical activity. Doing something physical helps to increase my focus for the day.
Throughout the workweek, I find inspiration and motivation from the satisfaction of completing tasks and accomplishing goals. I’m driven by the desire to make things happen and to make a difference.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
The best advice that has helped guide me along the way is to never give up and to always look for opportunities to learn. One of the most important mentors I have had has been my friends, who has always encouraged me to work hard and believe in myself. It is also important to surround yourself with people who believe in your abilities and will continue to push you past your self-doubts and limitations.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I like to take walks outside in nature, listen to music, cook, and spend time with my friends.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Some of my favorite local spots in Columbus/central Ohio include: Franklin Park Conservatory, Botanical Gardens and COSI (Center of Science and Industry), and all things in the Short North.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was kid I wanted work in A&R in the music industry.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I am currently reading “Just As I Am” by Cicely Tyson, as well as “Sacred Woman” by Queen Afua. As for podcasts, I’m listening to “Ratchet and Respectable”, “Here’s The Thing”, “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered”, and “Therapy For Black Girls”.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
Being chosen for the Next Up Columbus award is an incredible honor. I am truly humbled by this recognition. It means that I am being recognized as a leader in my community, an example of how civic engagement makes a positive difference. It inspires me to continue striving towards making a positive impact in the community and shows that there are still wonderful opportunities here.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
I would tell them that the pulse of Columbus is vibrant and ever-evolving. Although it is a smaller city, it offers a great deal in the way of arts, entertainment, culture, food, and recreation. The people of Columbus are passionate about their community, and it is reflected in how the city is growing and becoming increasingly diverse. Columbus is an exciting place to be and offers something for everyone.

The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2023 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum Health for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2023” »



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