But what’s most astounding about Tabichi is that he is known to give 80% of his salary to help students who come from poor families! Having never been on an airplane before flying to Dubai to receive the award, the farthest Tabichi had ever traveled was to Uganda.Read More
This past semester, one of our scholarship receipents, MaKayla, went through some major changes that brought with them some adversity.
First, she changed schools and enrolled in classes full-time at UMSL (University of Missouri - St. Louis) due to financial constraints. This was a significant move because she was just getting settled in at SLU (Saint Louis University) and having to start all over again somewhere new is always a challenge.
She subsequently failed her first college class during her initial semester at UMSL, something not even I can claim has never happened to me…
But college isn’t supposed to be the “perfect” experience, is it? It’s a time when we are given the freedom to fail and learn from those missteps while the consequences may not be as irreparable as they are once we enter the workforce. And that’s what I see as the most important aspect of this: that she understands what actions lead to the failure and makes the necessary adjustments to hopefully avoid any future bruises to her academic career.
On a lighter note, MaKayla has somehow found the time between classes and TWO full time jobs to build new relationships with those she’s meeting at UMSL.
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be helpful, and I was even more afraid that she wouldn’t like me. I wanted to be the best I could possibly be for Mary.” - MaKayla S.
Read her full essay below about the impact MaKayla felt from this new individual and how it’s helping her along the I Do It For Her path to become someone better than you ever though possible , all thanks to your donations!
This semester, I was given the opportunity to be a personal assistant to someone (let’s call her Mary) who has autism. When I was first asked to help Mary, I was a bit apprehensive, because I have always preferred to work with small children, but my excitement for a new opportunity overthrew my hesitation. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be helpful, and I was even more afraid that she wouldn’t like me. I wanted to be the best I could possibly be for Mary. Some of my responsibilities included reminding her to take her meds, helping/reminding her to keep her hygiene together, helping her wash clothes and clean her room, and making sure she was overall taking care of herself in the best way she knew how.
Throughout the semester I slipped up, sometimes I would forget to remind her of her meds. Other times I would be tired from working and push back the date we set to wash her clothes or clean her room. I even went a few days this semester without checking on her at all. During midterms, I was under so much stress, but not once did I have the idea to stop being Mary’s personal assistant. I wanted to continue to help and make sure she had all of the necessary resources she needed to be the best student possible while attending UMSL. I didn’t think about it at the time, but my willingness to stay with Mary is the only confirmation I needed to continue my college career as a social work major.
Since I started college, I’ve been 70% about what I want to do with my future: I loved the course work related to social work and sociology, and I love volunteering. But I was never given the opportunity to put myself in an exact situation that models a social worker’s career. Being a personal assistant isn’t the best model, but it does give me a better idea of what it’s like to be needed and how demanding certain needs can be. I am able to say that I believe I can handle this demand very well and it only solidified my goals and aspirations for the future. Mary doesn’t know it but being my roommate and allowing me to be her personal assistant has helped me be more confident in my studies and step out of my comfort zone to learn more about the teenage demographic.
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Our first college-scholarship recipient, MaKayla, has wrapped up her first college semester at SLU and is absolutely killing! Not only did she successfully finish the semester with a 3.52 GPA, but she did so while also balancing work and 10+ hours of community service.
Not surprisingly, she chose to give her time to a local St. Louis organization, Almost Home, that has a mission to "empower young moms to become self-sufficient and create a better future for themselves and their children."
As part of her scholarship requirements, she also completed a well-thought out, articulate essay reflecting on what this first semester meant to her. Below is one of my favorite quotes from this essay and something that I find so motivating each time I read it.
When I first read her essay and saw the official transcript of her first semester, I couldn't help but feel so damn proud of her and what she is setting out to accomplish. So many young adults across America, who are also first-generation college students, can struggle with the rigors of higher education for myriad reasons.
That's why it's so important that we as an organization take responsibility for how our students perform in school and don't simply hand out tuition funds based on prior achievements. We try to make ourselves available 24/7 to the scholarship winners so that when they inevitably encounter the challenges that make the question if they're capable of actually succeeding, we are one of the first ones to adamantly say how much we believe in them!
As supporters of I Do It For Her, you too should feel this sense of responsibility and pride. Your donations have made this life-changing event possible and your continued support allows us to have an unbelievable impact on the lives of low-income students who otherwise may not have this chance.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Because of your incredible generosity, we successfully raised over $2,000 for our most recent scholarship recipient, MaKayla!
Those funds will go on top of the original $4,000 that she was originally awarded and I can't express emphatically enough how much of a help that is going to be for her. We all know (some more personally than others) the heavy burden student debt can put on someone, especially when that person comes from a low income family and lacks some of the resources a lot of us took for granted growing up.
This money clearly won't cover her total tuition bill but it does soften the financial pressure. Our hope is to one day become a large enough organization that can give full financial scholarships and with enough determination (and luck) we will get there.
We are tremendously grateful for your continuing support and couldn't feel more proud to share this exciting news with you. Please don't ever stop being such beautiful human beings and setting the example for others to follow.
In less than 4 weeks, I'm going to be running my first 100k trail race as part of the Bear Chase Race Series here in Colorado. It's going to be an incredibly demanding physical challenge and even more contested mental battle. Both of those extremes are integral into discovering just who "you" are as a person and never fail in being able to deliver a necessary moment of self-reflection.
One of your fellow amazing, beautiful, and down-right badass 'I Do It For Her' supporters has graciously offered to match each dollar donated up to $1,000! Race entry fees have already been paid for and the race is a local one so no travel expenses need to be covered (I.e. flights to Mongolia...) which means that every dollar donated goes directly to our most recent scholarship recipient, MaKayla.
She is resolutely determined young woman attending SLU this Fall and we couldn't be more proud of who she is and what she wants to accomplish.
Pushing my body to its limits while testing the fortitude of my mind and heart is a great encapsulation of our powerful mantra that demands we "become someone better than we ever thought possible". Anything, physical or emotional, that pushes you into the chaotic storm that is human life can ultimately lead to a more profound existence if you're able to stand your ground a keep putting one foot in front of the other.
For the past 5 years, our mission has been to help those in desperate need of a quality education receive that opportunity through partial scholarships. The impact we've had on both the selected students and their families has been incredibly gratifying, humbling, and powerful!
Recently, our partner organization, KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Stl, has made a BIG change and will be opening a brand new KIPP high school this Fall. By doing so, they will add another positive layer to serving St. Louis youths and their families who don't have the financial ability to get the life-changing education they deserve.
Because of this improvement, we are going to shift our focus towards helping high school students coming out of the KIPP organization prepare for the financial burden of college. Given the recent statistics that amount to over $1.4 TRILLION in crippling student loan debt, students who live below the poverty have yet another obstacle to overcome..
We are accepting of the challenges ahead and are dedicated to continue our promise that every dollar you donate goes DIRECTLY to helping those in need. Your support is changing lives and we can't thank you enough!
In the middle of 2016, not yet even a full year in remission, I took the TEDx stage to finally tell my story. A tremendous amount of emotional investment went into this talk and constructing each word made me explore parts of my past that I hadn't yet come to terms with.
The overwhelming amount of support from all over the world that the talk has received has been incredibly humbling and I can't express enough how grateful I am to read each and every personal message it sparks. We all have our own crosses to bear, burdens to fight, and broken hearts to mend, but in those dark moments we are given the chance to become something better than we ever thought possible.
Never take for granted the chance to fall so deeply in love with someone who makes you think you're strong enough to change the world. Set out each day to re-arrange the stars and never let your marks of a life worth dying for define you.
Recently, I had the good fortune of being able to sit down with Carly Hoilman from The Blaze and tell her about our story here at 'I Do It For Her'.
For over an hour, she attentively listened to me ramble on and on about just what makes our message so powerful. That we all have that very special someone in our life who inspires us to "become someone better".
As you'll read in the article, its filled with some past, current, and future events we hope will draw national attention to our organization and mission.
We are dedicated to making sure every single $ of your donation goes to help those who need it but that means our marketing/advertising budget is incredibly low. Please do us a favor though and share/post this story, along with our TEDx talk, on whatever social platforms you use.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has gotten involved and to all of you who continue to pursue a "life worth dying for"!
I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to be selected as a HIGHLIGHTED SPEAKER at the SOLD OUT TEDxMU on April 23rd!
Writing my speech as really required me to make an emotional investment into every word and it hopefully shows through when I stand on that stage, delivering our message that "one person can indeed change the world".
Please help continue this surreal momentum and share our story with someone pivotal in your life.
Bottom line, it is going to be EPIC!
As a U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer and winner of a recent fight with an advanced Stage-IV Lymphoma, I've got a taste for adventure, so don't tempt me with a good time...
Problem is, the Derby has quite the entry fee, over $10,000 USD. Crazy expensive, I know. That's not even covering the travel & training costs!
But with your, just oh so generous donations, I can finally defeat that Genghis Khan and complete this monster of a race that is rated as one of the world's toughest.
I'll be representing the 501(c)3 non-profit I Do It For Her as well, so please help send me on this once in a life-time adventure and I promise the stories I bring back and regale you with will be worth it.
We know you've got so many different great causes to choose from this holiday season and sincerely appreciate you're support. For every tax-free donation of $25 or more, we'll send you one of our 'I Do It For Her' branded men's t-shirts or women's tank tops. Just mention your size and mailing address in the 'message' section along with your donation and we'll make sure to send it off as soon as we can.Read More
The man in the arena, pulling myself back up off the ground. Finding the opportunity to literally help research my very own cancer at the National Institutes of Health.
Payback is going to be a bitch...
From the beautiful islands of Hawaii, he is our most recent Enablers Project nominee. Damon's dream is to become the first quadriplegic solo skydiver!!
Here is a journal update from the man himself since being selected:
"So far been running into difficulties with the local windtunnel here. They
are running into problems with noise complaints from the Department of
Health. So I've been exploring the idea of finding a mainland company in
Nevada or Seattle that will consider comping the windtunnel time in
exchange for the marketing. Its frustrating but also what I expected...much
opposition since this is the first quad solo attempt.
On a side bar I took a shark cage dive and invited Harmon Clarke along. I
treated him and became his dream enabler haha ;) But seriously, it was an
amazing day and being in the water with such beautiful animals was
surprisingly peaceful. Very beautiful animals.
I still am postponing cashing the check until I'm able to lock in plans to
move forward with the skydive.
Thank you again for believing in me and allowing this amazing opportunity!
Keep following along for updates on his adventure and seeing him progress through a life changing challenge!
"During free-fall, I don't just feel weightless, I am unburdened by reality."Read More
"how long your life is really doesn't matter... what's important is how you spend that time" - Brad OnealRead More
"...going to change the world of live action sports"Read More
"Because it's going to take process to get to the prize" - Michael IrvinRead More
"Though over the years I have worked tirelessly to rectify this wrong and now it is my time to pass on the opportunity for higher education to those who are clearly more deserving than most of us."Read More
"To all those out there who keep inspiring others... Stay strong, stay safe. No matter what, always find a reason to keep fighting."Read More
"This is an opportunity to climb one of the Seven Summits and raise money for a disease that is so prominent in countless people."Read More