“We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

Luciano de Crescenzo

Please join me in my 30th birthday project, 30 by 30: Reflecting Back and Paying it Forward. This project has two parts – the first is to publicly thank at least 30 people for playing pivotal roles in my life, allowing me to now be in what I consider to be a rather fortunate place. In other words, the first part is Reflecting Back.  The second is to pay forward the support I received by raising money to provide 30 girls in developing countries with year-long scholarships.

Puerto Viejo School 1

I have always been interested in human rights and gender equality, but living in Colombia and Vietnam and traveling extensively in Latin America and Asia has turned that spark into a flame. I have had opportunities to see, meet, and chat with women who have had very different childhood experiences than I did.  These women now fill the marginalized roles in society – the “lucky” ones working as house keepers or street vendors, the even less fortunate sold into SE Asia’s thriving sex trafficking industry. Many are functionally illiterate, many are abused, and all have very few options.

I have the freedom to make choices in my life, largely because growing up I had many advocates – family, friends, neighbors, teachers. I can think of no better way to show my gratitude than to share with others what people have graciously shared with me.

Last year I read Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood. When I finished, I was A) grateful that I could read, B) grateful that I had access to books, and C) intrigued by the non-profit John Wood founded, Room to Read.  I investigated and found that Room to Read has a large presence in Vietnam, based in Ho Chi Minh City. They do a very thorough job of providing girls all the tools they need to be successful in school – tuition, supplies, uniforms, transportation, mentoring – for $250 a year. In the US, $250 barely buys a college text book, but $250 is a life changer in Asia.

Join me in paying gratitude forward. Join me in being someone’s advocate, someone’s “other wing.” Let’s send 30 girls to school.

The December 30th tally - enough to send 66 girls off to brighter futures.

The December 30th tally – enough to send 66 girls off to brighter futures.

Weekly Update:

(January 20, 2014)

Girls Supported to date: 66

Amount Needed to support the next girl: $250

Donations to Date: 141   (not including events)

Video Dance Thank Yous to Date: 30!

Days Until Next Event:  Saturday, March 1st – All in White Zumba Event at the Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh City, benefiting a local orphanage.

“Reflecting Backs” Written: 8, thanking 13 people (I need to write more! It’s hard to type and dance at the same time!)

Birthday Countdown:  Counting down to 31 now.

Number of times I’ve tried to convince Ellen DeGeneres to be a guest dancer in a video dance thank you: 3 (not enough)

Number of times I’ve tried to convince Kid President to be a guest dancer in a video dance thank you: also not enough

Number of Girls left to support to reach the (new, newer, newest) goal (60 by 30):  Zero! Thank you! We really, really, really did it! (Bu by all means please continue if you’d like 🙂

kid president

I couldn’t agree more!

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Dance Thank You: Ringing in December with a Bang | 30 By 30

  2. Pingback: Having my Cake, and Eating it Too… | 30 By 30

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