Giving Back This Holiday Season

Every year the holiday season rolls around and the two words "giving back" seem to be the talk of the town. It is the time to give to friends, family, and those less fortunate. For me, giving back is a year round thing. When I turned eleven years old, my time to give back started by meeting a Rwandan human rights activist named Richard Kananga. As Richard spoke about the tragedy and the importance of rebuilding hope and forgiveness in the country, I was inspired and determined to find my own way to reach out to Rwandan girls my age. Richard connected me to girls who live on a dollar a day, without running water or electricity. I began generating support from my local community, talking with fellow students and organizing bake sales and school supply drives. I founded Richard's Rwanda-IMPUHWE with the mission to support educational opportunities for girls in the rural district of Nyamata.

Giving back is more than fundraising, it is an opportunity to feel the beauty in impacting an individual. I have known the girls I support in Rwanda for ten years now. I know their families and have seen them grow into incredible and empowered young women. Giving back, from a young age has given me a perspective on the power of compassion and empathy. The girls in Rwanda have taught me how to persevere and look at life optimistically. I owe my life to my sisters in Rwanda and everything they have given me.

Last spring I was awarded the Diller Tikkun Olam award and was given an opportunity to join a community and family of change makers and innovators. It is now my chance to give back to the Diller Award and share the incredible chance I was given with others. Giving Tuesday symbolizes the day that organizations reach out and ask the world to support their cause. There is so much need and it just takes one person to begin making an impact. Diller makes their mark by awarding fifteen phenomenal activists and leaders every year, showing that chance begins with the youth. "Tikkun Olam" reminds us that repairing the world is about supporting strong leaders to strengthen our global community. This holiday ask yourself how you will make your mark.

Join this powerful community and nominate today: