Just out here trying to make a difference!

Greetings everyone! I hope you all are doing great. I have some pretty exciting news to share today so let’s get started! Nope, not pregnant nor has Justin proposed (haha no pressure Jus).

Firstly, let’s start with an update on that school supply drive in August. Well, it went great. I’ve never been able to do a “community-wide” effort for collecting supplies so I’m pretty proud at what came out of it. Not only did the Auburn Valley YMCA be willing to partner up with little ol’ Kelly, but the amount of donations from family, local businesses, community members and YMCA members, helped out so many students get prepared for the beginning of the school year! It truly showed that working hard at accomplishing goals, is a doable thing. Another thing I have to say, is that yes, it was not fully promising starting it and no, I did not know what the outcome would be (could’ve been a huge fail!), but believing in the good of the community, was the best thing I could have done.

Now onto some awesome news that I really never saw coming. Wait for it..

I do have a ton of drive when it comes to wanting to help youth and improve student drop-out rates but sometimes I have no idea how to move forward with ideas. I can envision something in my head but I then realize how difficult it can be to piece together what exactly I can do to accomplish these dreams. The supply drive was honestly, just something simple but it made an impact. Doing advocacy for students with barriers and learning how to help fight those barriers in our community is a huge topic. It’s complex but it’s an issue that many, many nonprofits and institutions are trying to work with.

So I have wanted to be able to approach my dreams of helping youth and families for a LONG time but never knew what I could do in order to get to that point. To be able to be a voice for so many individuals who either can’t, or just don’t know how to do so, is something I want to do.

I found an awesome posting on the City of Auburn website (not a job!) so I ended up applying for a city board/committee. They have a total of 9 positions on the Human Services board and I saw that there was ONE vacancy. I knew I wanted to take the chance and apply but I also know how many people probably felt the same way as I do with wanting to help make big decisions and also be a voice for others. Anyways, I did get a call from the mayor’s office (FYI: it’s weird when that pops up on your caller ID), got an interview, and then received an email that ended in tears…of JOY. The email said “Thank you for your time Kelly!” and I thought..”ugh that sucks”, but then it said “On behalf of the Human Services board, I would like to pass your name to Mayor Backus to approve you for the board!”. WHAT?! I can’t believe it. They said that my passion for helping youth showed through and it would be an asset to the city and that’s when I felt emotional. It was like a huge wave of reassurance came over me but I thought “Jeeze! I hope the mayor approves!”. Hahah fingers crossed she agrees and then the city council also has to approve so it’s not quite official. Now the decision is just a couple weeks away and I’m sitting here in the unknown but I’m definitely okay with it.

It has really hit me that hard work and persistence can pay off in big ways. It’s not a job and I will not be getting paid for it, but it’s something I love to do and will be a way to emerge myself even further into the Auburn community. I have to give up coaching the girls but of course I’ll be that mom who is totally involved and cheering them on from the stands every single game and competition!

After all of this opportunity has come about, I do want to continue my “Impact Project” and see what can come out of it. There are so many ways to help students and families but I just need to figure out how to raise awareness for the importance of school attendance. Luckily I have a job that I love and learn from everyday. It gives me the opportunity to listen to students, parents, and fellow faculty, so I can absorb the realities of issues young people are facing.

I am going to continue doing what I can and I hope you all can take a look into a little store I created on Bonfire to raise money for spreading awareness. It’s a small project but who knows now what can come out of it. I’ve learned lately that you never know what can happen when you never give up!

Here’s the link: bonfire.com/store/makeanimpact/

-Kelly

 

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