FREE HUGS for the Degenerate Beauty Queens

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To quote Lana Del Rey, we are a bunch of “degenerate beauty queens”. It’s unfortunate that our generation is so warped into this dehumanizing way of life. We live in a world where we give people weird looks when they wave to us or think someone is being creepy when they’re just smiling. You let a car go in front of you and, 89% of the time, you don’t even get a thank you’ wave. We spend more time on our phones than we do having an actual face to face conversation. When was the last time you started a conversation with a stranger? If you go into a doctors office nowadays, all you see is everyone on their phones. I think the lack of verbal and physical human interaction has caused us to become these stuck-up Miranda Priestly (Devil wears Prada [Meryl Streep’s character, the snobby bitch]), where it’s all business, all the time. I was becoming this Miranda-Priestly-zombie until I went to the NCSL leadership conference in Arlington, VA and met some amazing people. One of them is Tom Krieglstein (I had to google his last name because I definitely butchered that!), who was the MC of our conference. He brought the FREE HUGS campaign to our attention and it really sparked something inside of me.
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ImageHe showed us this video that shows a man walking around with a sign that says, “Free Hugs” and him walking around hugging strangers.  I got a bit emotional watching it because I thought to myself, “how sad is it that there are not more people like this out there?” I turned to my gal pal, Sarah and said “THIS IS MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL!” After hearing the story of Juan Mann, it didn’t take much to get me on board, nor did it take much to get my fellow student senates to join in as well.

ImageWhile we were waiting for the time to board our flight, we spent an hour walking around and holding the “FREE HUGS” signs and this was the reaction we received:


This inspired me to start this club with my friend called, PaK which stands for “Positivity and Kindness”. Our mission is to show that with very little efforts, you can make a positive imPAKt [punny!] on lives through simple acts of kindness. Movements such as FREE HUGS, cost nothing but you can see from the video that this made a lot of people smile. The world is already cruel enough. If more people went out there and tried to make it a better– then maybe people wouldn’t be so bad. This also motivated me to donate my birthday for a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. Pencils of Promise is something that I believe in because I see education as an absolute necessity in changing the world. Some people don’t share my views but I truly feel that if everyone is educated than there would be less ignorance and therefore better judgement. Who knows, there could be a child out there who will be able to cure aids one day, or a child who will one day become a leader that says NO to war–all that child need is an education. You can totally support this effort, and give me the best birthday present in the whole entire world by donating here.

Follow PaK on twitter : @jointhePAK

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Mass Pencils of Promise

This is the video that I have recently submitted to this Online Philanthropy Contest called GenerousU for my school. This contest gives students the opportunity to present their charity, in hopes of gaining money donated towards their cause. My cause is being a part of this nonprofit organization called Pencils of Promise. The reason why this organization is so close to my heart is because I feel that education is one of biggest factor that we can use to change the world. There are so many problems in this world and we fail to see that most of those problems comes from the lack of a good education. There are more than 57 million children who doesn’t have access to an education. I know that being from a country where we often time take for granted all the things that other countries lack– education should not be one of them. I truly believe that if we could help affect children’s life through the means of an education, it allows them the opportunity to learn things and be empowered to become outstanding individuals.  “We’ve learned that education is a living, breathing entity that with the right nurturing, evolves into something spectacular. We’ve learned that every piece of its growth is a challenge and that each pencil, each dollar, each volunteer is essential”.

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IMG_8442With the conjoined efforts of many of my friends and staff at school, we are able to bring awareness of the importance of education to not only ourselves but also to the world. This program can help build a school in countries such as Guatemala, Laos, and Ghana. You never know what might be trapped inside the mind of someone who cannot afford an education. By simply caring about them and doing something that seems so insignificant, we can change their entire future and that is truly empowering. So many people have already joined this cause, I want to be able to be a part of something that goes above and beyond just simple donations. This also promotes the belief that in order to change the perspective of the greater people then we must first start with the children.

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They always say that “children are the future”. I think it’s time that we start taking that statement seriously. We can impact lives by just taking the initiative to do something.

Please join us in the efforts of raising awareness for educational opportunities for all. You can help by voting for our project here on TrueHero— where all that you have do is simply put in your email to vote, then validate it once the link it sent to your email. Or you can help us reach our goal in sponsoring a classroom by donating to our fundraising page. Or simply share this post!

VOTE | DONATE | SHARE

photos by Shawn Pearce
video by Rob Mills

What sort of workout do you do?

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I get that question a lot and I never really know how to answer that. The truth is, I don’t stick to just one routine. I am constantly looking for different ways to change up my workout but I do focus on certain pairs of muscle groups at a time. This all comes down to what worked for me. I also love having fun at the gym and what better way to do that then to invite some of my best girlfriends? Here’s a preview of what we do. I promise I will start sharing my workout routine very soon! But until then…enjoy!