You sit there, with this miraculous idea on your mind. You know what you want to do, and what you want to see become of it, yet trying to make that miracle a reality is another situation. That is where I sat with my idea of building confidence in girls and women over 4 years ago. To have started off somewhere so faint and hazy, and to be where I’m at today is truly something unbelievable.
Take this past month for example. I started out at the beginning of this Pepsi experience with just myself and my computer in hand, filling out an application explaining how I wanted to make a difference and waiting for that difference to be accepted. A few months later, I have made my whole country aware of the impact I hope to make with my my one voice spread upon millions of others. And those millions of voices have helped spread my hopes of one day expanding my “Free to Be Me” self-esteem workshops. It’s like what President Obama once said
“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it changes a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”
-President Barack Obama
I believe this to be true. I would not be where I am today with out first, inspiration, and second, a support system. When you need help, you truly find out who the people are that love you most. Since I made it into the month of August to reapply for my 5,000 grant from Pepsi, I’ve been doing everything I possibly can to spread awareness of my dream.
My mom and I started out putting hundreds of fliers all over Boise. On people’s cars, community boards, even posting them on nearly every post, light, bench, anything we could find in downtown that a bright colored flier and sticky tape would hold to. It even started to get to the point where we would post them on bathroom stalls and we ventured to the Saturday Morning Market to inform people. My incredible family stayed up late Friday night helping me put little tags on hundreds of suckers with the number to text and website to vote on for my project. That next morning my mom and I stood in the middle of the market, myself holding a HUGE sign saying
“7 out of 10 girls don’t believe they are good enough. Ask me how YOU can help change this.”
and my mom handing out fliers. It was absolutely amazing the response we had with people genuinely interested in wanting to help me make a difference, some even offering me money to help support the cause and facilities to hold my workshops. The Treasure Valley has been such a supportive community, so supportive that I am now in the 20th spot nationwide. Only 10 spots away from my desired position needed to earn my grant to expand my workshops!
It isn’t just Boise, nor just Idaho though that’s encouraged me. Through this experience I have met people from all over the country. People from New York, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa are interested and sincere about helping me. It’s difficult to beat the feeling that I receive after telling someone about what I’m trying to do and their supportive response asking me what they can do to help and thanking me for what I’ve done. I have never felt more loved and been more confident in what I’m doing. Whether I make the top 10 or not, to know that people are more aware and to have had the experience in itself alone is something I am so grateful to have had and I thank everyone who has encouraged me.
My family, friends, and Pepsi Refresh family (Buss Fitness, Let Us Fish, Joy Project, Bragging Rights, Best Foot Forward…You all know who you are!) you have all been so incredible and I’m forever appreciative of the opportunity I have had. So thank you, thank you so much. You have all impacted me from your “one voice” and have in return shown me the power of mine.