By: Amanda Rowland

“You want me to do what?!” I exclaimed upon learning that I had to fundraise $5000.  I knew I loved to travel. I had even previously done sustainable volunteer work in Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Ghana. I also knew that I was passionate about providing services to all people with autism regardless of where they were born. I questioned whether or not this was a strong enough motivation to get me to fundraise that much money.  I’ve always been a very independent person. I don’t like asking anyone for anything, let alone money. My introverted personality hated the thought of having to get out of my comfort zone in order to ask everyone I knew for a donation. This fear is what almost kept me from participating in the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Time and time again I continue to learn that the magic of life happens when I am outside my comfort zone. I managed to raise $5200 and learned so much in the process. I learned that in order to overcome my fears I had to remind myself that it’s not about me.  I had to ask myself over and over again if my fear was bigger than my cause. If I didn’t raise this money, there would be children all around the world who wouldn’t receive services. If I was too afraid to ask for donations, children around the world would never reach their full potential.  I learned that there are so many amazing people who want to help, all I had to do was ask. Finally, I learned that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Someone needs to work with communities around the world in order to provide the best possible services for all. If not us, then who?