I believe that everyone has a purpose. Though I am young, inexperienced and most likely perceived as naive to some, I truly feel that every single person on this Earth has a reason that they are a alive. Whether it is self-proclaimed or given by a divine being, every individual is so
unique in their personality, spirit, talents, and motivation that our short time here on Earth has to
mean so much more than a daily routine that seemingly affects no one but us. Whether one’s
purpose is to create a new medicine, discover a planet, touch lives with their musical abilities, or
motivate someone to continue living in order to find their purpose, I believe every human being
is alive for a reason, and that reason is found only by living.

I have always had this mentality growing up, and when it came time to begin thinking about the future, to find my purpose, I thought I wanted to go into psychology and counseling. This would fit me, as I am very intuitive when it comes to how people are feeling, and I am known to be a genuine listener and a good advice-giver among those who know me. I thought this was a great plan; something that utilizes my God-given gifts and still provides a satisfying level of financial stability. While this is a very rewarding profession that I would still love to go in to, I quickly realized that I was looking into it for some of the wrong reasons. I wanted a well- paying job and this seemed perfectly fine, but it was not very long until I began feeling as if my purpose would be found elsewhere.

On December 11, 2012, my good friend and practically brother, Andy Hull, died by suicide, and while that event continues to shake my world, it opened my eyes to new passions and motivations in which only that experience could have shown me. In the aftermath and the healing that followed, a small spark was lit in the back of my mind that eventually created a wildfire in my heart. This was a fire that said I wanted to find a way for no one to ever feel the need to take the same actions that Andy did. Seeking out people dealing with things like depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, and addiction became a very prominent passion of mine, and that led me to research different organizations that aim to help people like Andy. Additionally, his mother founded a nonprofit organization that does that very thing. Since then, I have had the pleasure of helping with and attending various foundation events, as well as speak in front of the foundation board about how these experiences have changed my life. This is when I began feeling a love and passion within myself that I did not even know existed, and I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.

In addition to my passion for mental health, I was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Mexico to build houses in a very impoverished area with my church in the summer of 2016. While I had done similar trips before, this one really opened my eyes to all the nonprofit and ministry work I could do around the world. I realized that I had too much ability to help the lives of people less fortunate than me, that there was no way I could go the rest of my life without trying. I saw that there was a need and I wanted to fill it. I wanted to continue filling the need around this world for as long as I could. In volunteering for different events and positions around my church during my senior year, as well as with things like packing food for Feed My Starving Children, I realized that something was leading my heart toward working for or running a nonprofit organization.

I am just one person and of course I cannot save the world, but I believe from the bottom of my heart that I am on this Earth to help people in any way that I can. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “If even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded”, and I will continue to stand by that. While I do believe that everyone has a little bit of “I want to save the world” in them, everyone’s purpose is unique and often times vastly different, but each is equally as important as everyone else’s. Maybe we’re on this Earth to cure cancer, save a life, or become the next big superstar, but maybe we’re also here simply to be a friend, to see someplace new, or discover the world’s best vanilla latte. None of us know exactly how we’ll end up, but that’s kind of the exciting part of it all. My purpose is what drives me, motivates me, and gets me up in the morning, and I believe that, like me, everyone has a purpose much greater than themselves. This I believe.