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Lasting Impressions

21 Apr

Do you ever come home from a trip full of new memories and a refreshing attitude, but find yourself at a loss for words when someone says, “How was vacation? What did you do?”

Dalewood students, proud of their "I Can" tshirts

I have a similar feeling when I’m approached about my CreateAthon onCampus experience. How could I possibly sum up 24 hours non-stop excitement, with a sizable group of people, working around the clock for a cause greater than themselves?

I’ll give you my lasting impressions. The experience of participating in CreateAthon was like a droplet of water in a lake called “opportunity.” I’ve heard story after story from classmates, mentors and community leaders that the CreateAthon experience changed them. Made them better. Opened their eyes, and helped them realize what they’re capable of: giving back to a community that gives so much to each of us already. This, to me, is what the CreateAthon experience is about: a cause and effect chain of kind deeds for greater good. My takeaway from the experience, now that the Red Bull has worn off and we’ve resumed normal sleep schedules, is the fact that a group of people collectively came together as one super-unit of designers, thinkers, creatives and egalitarians.

To be a part of that experience is something I truly can’t explain. I can only be proud of the ripples of change I see happening in the lives all the people I know from CreateAthon.

[Editor’s Note: Co-posted on http://www.laurahelenwinn.com/.%5D

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Inspiration Surplus

8 Apr

The UTC students have been active – non-stop participation – for almost 12 hours now. You’d think our energy level would be drained but it’s quite the opposite. With each hour we work, the energy and passion for each project seems to multiply. There’s so much work to be done for Dalewood Middle School, and with each new solution seems to bring a new and exciting problem to solve.

The biggest point of inspiration for me so far has been the exceptional partnership with our mentors. Over 40 people confirmed to be CreateAthon onCampus mentors during the event, and I can’t count how many mentors have been invested throughout today. From photographers to designers to writers, each mentor is not only an asset to this cause, but have really made themselves essential team members.

Lee Davis

They say it’s better to give than get, and these community professionals are leading by example of true giving.

Courage in Chattanooga

5 Apr

Courage. It’s a trait that means different things to different people. For some, it’s speaking your mind when no one else will. Or standing up for others when every other person is sitting. For others, courage means staying strong in your beliefs, even (or especially) when every one else says that you are wrong. For me, courage means taking risks with the help of others for a greater cause, a cause greater than you and your team combined.

Stephanie Whiting working hard

The latter describes how I feel about our CreateAthon onCampus experience thus far. In preparation for the event, at any given moment, you can find one of my classmates or CreateHere fellows crafting emails to professionals, ironing out logistics, collaborating on design work, or documenting the entire experience. It takes a village to raise a child, and I think the same applies to our CreateAthon projects. It takes a community to raise a school to it’s full potential, and that’s what our courage has led us to do.