CHANGE STARTS WITH A PASSION

HELPING STUDENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. --Marilyn Grey

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. --D. H. Lawrence

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. --Carl W. Buechne

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. --Winston Churchill

A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world. --Andrew Gaines

Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. --Kyle Chandler

identify your passion

While the goal of this toolkit is to teach you skills for advocacy success, passion cannot be taught. It is the feeling deep down that propels you to overcome your setbacks and endure sacrifices.

I have designed the following 3 step process to help you discover your own unique passion:
Step A – What do you love?
Step B – Idea Brainstorming
Step C - Project Outline

Here is the process in detail, with an example to get you started.

STEP A: Close your eyes and think of something that you truly love. It can be absolutely anything. Once you have something in mind, jot it down in the big, blank oval.

Download blank STEP A worksheet

On the rays write down the reasons why you love this thing.

If your favorite thing is your dog, your worksheet might look like this.

dog example
 

STEP B: Idea brainstorming

Brainstorm some potential goals.

Download blank STEP B worksheet

EXAMPLE 1
STEP B Dog Example

STEP C: Project Outline

Brainstorm the tools you have and the unique skills you bring to the table.

Download blank STEPC worksheet
EXAMPLE 1
STEPC dog picture

Here is another example showing what you might have for each step if your favorite thing is your Wii.

Step A Wii
Step B Wii
Step C Wii

Congratulations! You have started your journey as an advocate.

.ma

Finding your passion is the first and most important step in becoming an advocate. Why? Because change starts with a passion. Advocacy is not easy. But it is passion that inspires hope, courage, perseverance and fulfillment.

IME

I want to share my story of how I discovered my own passion:

I have been an animal lover my entire life. So naturally this interest led me to discover my childhood hero, Dr. Jane Goodall. Through hard work and an unbreakable spirit, Jane fought for the opportunity to study the chimpanzees in the wild. This was unheard of at the time, as women in general were not scientists or experts in any field. But she found funding after years of searching and she made it Africa. And with no scientific training, Jane discovered that chimps used tools, forcing scholars to redefine humans as more than just the “toolmakers”. Her discovery was groundbreaking. Today Dr. Jane has selflessly spent over 50 years of her life relentlessly promoting conservation and peace to people around the world.

Keeping her example in mind, I was brainstorming other great apes that I could start a project to help. One night, I remember staring at the computer screen, tears pouring down my face as I scrolled through pictures of orangutans that had been beaten, burned to death and hacked to pieces for entering a palm oil plantation. Those pictures reminded me that orangutans aren’t only intelligent, they’re also individuals with their own thoughts, feelings and personalities. This was a massive slaughter of an endangered species whose physical strength outmatched the toughest man’s, but which was voiceless in their own survival. This initial outrage sparked my passion. It has been that moment, ingrained in my mind that has fueled these past seven years of service.

I have dedicated over one third of my life to this issue. But I’ve only made a small dent within the massively complex palm oil industry. I have however transformed from a shy, self-conscious and passionate little girl, into a young woman with confidence and a global perspective.