Thank You, JustWorld International.

Thank You, JustWorld International.

Sincerely, your Ambassadors.
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For those who do not know, JustWorld International is a non-profit organization that supports more than 6,500 children in Honduras, Guatemala, and Cambodia. This support, however, is more than just the average food donation or school supplies. As mentioned in their mission statement, "We don’t focus on only one area of need. Hungry children cannot learn. Sick children cannot attend school."

JustWorld brings together a community from different regions of the world of all ages. You may be an Olympic equestrian in the United States or a thirteen-year-old girl living in France. People come from all over to provide education, nutrition, health and hygiene, as well as leadership and cultural development for these young minds. JustWorld's support has allowed children in these communities to attend universities and become employed - the first step of breaking the cycle of poverty.

I feel thankful to have found this organization in August of 2013, and becoming so knowledgeable in the world beyond my "comfort zone" at only the age of fourteen. I've gotten the opportunity to connect and fundraise with girls across the country for JustWorld's Team Challenge, raising the most money out of the three countries' teams for Honduras - the country where most of my barn's compassionate and hardworking grooms called home.

I could go on about how much being a part of JustWorld as an ambassador has helped me strengthen my soft skills that have helped me grow as the person I am today, but the important message here is that the more you help people, the more you help yourself, too. You learn about another person's culture, their story, and the world, while learning about your own strengths and weaknesses, your capabilities, and build character.

So thank you, to the JustWorld International team, for providing adults and children alike an opportunity to become a part of such a loving and supportive community. Your presence, especially amongst the equestrian community, has helped us become humble and stay grounded. Not only are you changing and shaping the lives of those outside the country on the project sites, but also those like me who have been able to grow along beside you.

Cover Image Credit: Noelle Floyd

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We Do The Things We Do For A Reason, To Help Us Find Our Passion

How I knew writing was my love.
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Why do we do the things we do? A question I get asked a lot is “why did you start your blog?”

I wish it was as simple as “I love to write!” But it isn’t. I was always a terrible reader, all through elementary school I had the worst handwriting and grammar in the class. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I began to truly like to write. I started writing in a little black journal that read “I can I Will” on the front every night. At first, it was just simple stuff like what I had done that day but eventually, it developed into more.

I would have so much going on in my head, I would just need to write it on paper! Ideas, opinions I was too afraid to say out loud, and even short “movies”. Writing actually helped me develop my true voice. Once I realized that I was one of the only kids in class who actually enjoyed writing papers, I knew it was my calling. It was something I wanted to put my heart and soul into.

My freshman year, everyone had their “thing” whether it be basketball or soccer or dance. My thing was going to the cozy coffee shop in Royal Oak and just writing for hours.

I would just pour my heart out onto a piece of paper and love it! I felt a release and always felt a sense of power when I finished a meaningful article.

The summer I got home from my last year of sleep away camp, I wanted to somehow share my writing with the world. I am terrible at technology so I never thought I would be able to create a blog, but I did! I thought it would only be appropriate to call it "I can I Will" because it was not only what my first journal said but had deep meaning to me for various reasons (a different story for another time). For me, it was not about how many likes or shares my page received, but to see and hear if I had made an impact on others. I wanted to inspire people or in some way make them just think. Think about life and themselves. Think about the good stuff.

As of today, every time I post an article, I feel loved. I get goosebumps from every comment on my post or when people I barely even know come up to me and tell me they read my blog.

So, why do we do the things we do? Is it to make us happy? No. We do the things we do to better the world for ourselves and for the people around us. I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason. This being said, go after your dreams, do what you want, make yourself happy while also putting smiles on other people’s faces. We do the things we do for a reason, even if we don't know it!

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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9 Ways To Have Fun While NOT Partying On The Weekend In Bloomington

Parties can be fun, but you don't have to spend all of your weekends going to them. Here are 9 of my favorite ways to branch out!
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I know what you are thinking: “What a lame article.” Everyone loves a good party, but sometimes it is good to branch out and try new things. Here is a list of my favorite things to do on the weekend while still staying out of trouble.

1. Mini Golf

Every time I’m in the mall I pass by this new glow-in-the-dark Mini Golf place. It looked pretty neat and it’s a great activity to do with your friends. Whether you are good at sports or not, you are guaranteed to have fun. I mean who could pass up mini golf? (Not to mention glow-in-the-dark mini golf??)

2. Anthony’s Pets

The classic go-to in Bloomington. Hit up Anthony’s Pets for a fun time with puppies. Nobody with a heart can resist puppy love. (They have other animals too!!)

3. Movie night

Great for a night in with your friends or if you want to switch things up and go to the movies, you can do that too! There are plenty of great movies out right now and coming up! Some of those include Black Panther, Jumanji, and The Greatest Showman.

4. Hiking & Staying in a Cabin

Some of my favorite nights are nights we have spent at my friend’s cabin. Hiking and staying in Brown County is an awesome activity to get into when there is not much happening around campus. Bring cards and your speaker and it’s bound to be fun.

5. Sober for a pair

Here’s an unusual idea. If you are involved in Greek Life on campus, offer to sober monitor for one of your house’s socials. You get the fun of going to the party, but don’t feel obligated to drink. It’s the best of both worlds when you are just not feeling it.

6. Support your favorite IU team

There are always games going on the weekends. Tickets are super cheap or admission is free for a lot of sports. Some of the best games are ones you get to go to with a bunch of your friends. Leaving your dorm or apartment is fun for a change of scenery, especially when so many people go to these games. Get out there and see what’s happening! I personally love the basketball games.

7. Escape Room

There is a new Escape Room experience in Bloomington called Locked Up. It is fun for all ages and great for when you have guests! Trying new things is really fun and this is a great bonding experience for people looking to take big groups. I did one in Indy, and it ends up being something you talk about all the time. Plus they are currently running a promo for Valentines Day! Use the code ‘Vday2018’ when you checkout.

8. The Comedy Attic

This is a great one for the older crowds. With different shows every weekend, it is so much fun to go and eat dinner with your friends while you get some good laughs in. People love the entertainment. They also have kid-friendly shows as well!

9. Bowling at the IMU

Bowling is an awesome activity for when your group just can’t decide on what to do. Everyone loves a good competition. It’s super cheap for students to go and there are other games to do once you are in!

Cover Image Credit: Hannah George

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