I recently joined the Community Ambassador program with Odyssey to help create more communities around the country. My job is to basically find individuals in an area of my choosing and pitch Odyssey to them. It’s been about two months and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. A big part of doing this is just convincing people they can do it.

I always start off with asking if they know what Odyssey is, then explain why another stranger has slid into their DM’s asking them to join something. I will ask them what kind of stories they have to tell. I ask if they attend college or what they do for a living and where their hometown is. It seems creepy and sometimes feels like it but people enjoy talking about themselves. Not in a self-righteous way but in the way that makes most people so ideal to write with us. We all have life experiences and opinions that make each and every one of us worthy of having a voice and platform to tell our sides.

I’ve noticed a trend in the two ways the conversations typically go, either really well or not at all. Some people just don’t reply or they’ll kindly tell me they aren’t interested. But the people that are interested get so excited. Sometimes they are thanking me for finding them and giving them this opportunity. I get so nervous messaging strangers but these responses make it fun.

Another pattern I have noticed is that even after they get so excited and agree to join, they get nervous too. They think their stories have already been told. They think they aren't worthy of voicing what they have to say. I always have to tell them that those statements are false. Here's why:

Every single living being has opinions, thoughts, and views. Even if someone else has the same views as you, I bet you disagree on something else. I don't know who is going around telling people that because they have differing opinions they're wrong, but they need to stop. There is always going to be something or someone waiting to knock you down but even when you fall you'll have something to say about it. That's why I love Odyssey. We are given the opportunity to say almost anything we want.

There will always be something to say and we all deserve to have the opportunity to put our perspectives out there. We all deserve to be heard. The difference between The Odyssey and other online platforms is that we don't have a specific focus. Our platform appeals to all topics which gives us the chance to appeal to almost everyone out there.

Through inviting new people to join us in writing, I've realized that I have come to love The Odyssey more than I would have imagined six months ago. I'm so thankful to have this opportunity and it makes my day when someone new joins such an amazing platform. If you've ever thought about joining Odyssey, take the leap. The things you have to say are worthy of being voiced and Odyssey is the perfect place to do it.