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jodelight

About Me: 

my story is this:

every new day, I believe a new hope born.Everyday I hear music. I know that while there is so great a sadness and tragedy in the world, there is still so much beauty and hope. Everyday, whether it's raining, or the sun is blazing, there is possibility.
I have spent the better half of the last few years, working abroad, traveling and soul searching. A portion of this time, I worked in Cambodia, assisting small grassroot NGOs with organizational development, project building, charity event planning, and ground level field work. I also was blessed with the priviledge to teach empowerment and language classes to youth in the outskirts of Phnom Penh. It was my responsibility to organized activities and community projects.
I have found that the real beauty in life is not in grandeur, but in the truly simple moments. When I look back on my time working in Cambodia, I see the faces of my students. So beautiful, and so full of hope. One particular activity project stands out to me right now. We gathered on a Sunday evening; it was hot, the fans weren't working, yet the students still gathered. I thought that doing empowerment collages would be both fun and inspiring. So, there we all sat in a little schoolhouse, in a rundown neighborhood outside the city, dreaming. Dreaming, creating, expressing- and enjoying each others company. The students cut out pictures and words and figures, shaping their futures onto cardboard.
When everyone was finished, I asked everyone to present their collage, and what they wanted for the future. One student got up and said he wanted to be a teacher, another wanted to be pilot, another doctor. One shy girl got up and said she wanted to be a judge. She showed how the aspects of her collage, supported her belief that a better judicial system would provide better opportunities for Cambodian people. She said that she wanted to be the first Cambodian woman judge. wow-tears were streaming down my face. I was so proud of her. Another student said he wanted to be a peace advocate. He hopes to work for a newspaper, spreading awareness about inequality, wars, injustices, and give the powerless a voice. As I looked at each students collage's I saw their dreams and their future landmarked on these papers.
The students hung their collage's on the raggedy school walls, projecting their dreams, and seeing that in order for their dreams to be realized, they had to study, work hard, and hope and dream.
They are my inspiration. I spent the majority of my time in Cambodia with them. I love them in a way that I have never loved before. I love them because they are so full of hope, they are the future of Cambodia. When I think of them, I think of music. They are so lovely, I hear them all around. They are my music, their heart dreams are my song. Everyone of them is capable of so much. I send good thoughts, and hopes to them everyday.
How can I talk about anything else now, after all that...
Life is bigger than me, and I feel blessed when I find how much good there is all around. I am moved by the amazing people I have met, I will continue to do the work that I believe helps make positive change possible.

My Passions: 
travel, international work, people, reading, biking
My Challenges: 
finding strength to follow dreams through
My Vision for the Future: 
working in the global community, working for positive, empowered change.
My Areas of Expertise: 
international issues, languages, aid work.
My Languages: 
English, russian, khmer, spanish

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