March For Our Lives

March For Our Lives

For the victims, the survivors and the ones that hope they never have to be either.
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On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School suffered a fate that no school, or any place for that matter, deserves. A 19-year-old ex-student, Nikolas Cruz, went into the school, pulled the fire alarm and, as the students started piling out of the classrooms, he began the horrific event that will later on become the 9th worst mass shooting in United States history.

As March 24 approaches, I cannot stop thinking about the students who went through this, because, instead of letting these events define their lives, they are using their lives to define what happens next.

There is no way you haven’t heard about these kids; they have been all over social media, top TV channels and, if that is not enough, they completely burned Marco Rubio to the ground in the Town Hall held a week after the shooting

.Mark my words:David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Delaney Tarr, Sarah Chadwick, Adam Alhanti, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, Sofie Whitney, Alex Wind, Alfonso Calderon, John Barnittm Chris Grady, Kirsten McConnell, Charlie Mirsky, Diego Pfeiffer, Ryan Deitsch, Kevin Trejos and Daniel Duff will go down in history as those who began the movement that will incite change in the country.

They have not let their voices die; they will not let the 17 lives lost be another statistic and, frankly, I could not be prouder of them.

Being a student and going to school should not be synonymous to fearing for your life. It is completely unacceptable that little kids as young as 6 years old tell their parents that they need new shoes for school because their current ones light up and “that could attract the shooter.

”I have had enough of hearing that innocent lives are being lost because the government prefers their NRA donations to doing their jobs.If any government official is reading this, which I hope at least one does, your job is to work FOR the people, not around them, and for this reason is why March for Our Lives is so important.

Due to the amazing opportunity that has been studying abroad, I am saddened to say that I cannot stand with you in the States, fighting this injustice. Nevertheless, know I will be there in spirit and supporting all of you every step of the way in London. I bought my March for Our Lives t-shirt, it should arrive anytime soon and will wear it with much pride on the 24th.

You who reads me, if you support this cause, don’t be afraid to show it. Go out to the streets, stand by these strong people who are fighting for a change, support them and be them. There has been too much suffering and it is safe to say that it has been all deaths too many.

Rest in Peace

Alyssa, Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gian Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty,Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alec Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thoughts_and_Prayers_Don%27t_Save_Lives_(40369207261)_(cropped).jpg

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.

Learism
Learism
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Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.

Learism
Learism

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