Meet our college Doves
The University of Cal State Eastbay: Hayward, CA
What motivated you to start Letters to Hope at your university?
I remember like it was just yesterday. I was listening to the radio when I heard the terrible news of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. How could this happen? Why does this happen in our communities? After this event, I knew I had to do something. Throughout my childhood there has been a series of tragic events happen. I never had the courage to follow my dreams when it came to helping those in need. This event was my wake up call. I wanted to be there for the one's that have experienced loss. I knew I couldn't be their physically, but maybe there was another way. Writing encouraging letters was my calling. My motivation came from the cries, heartache and suffering. I wanted people to know that they are not alone, and that miles cannot separate me from caring.
What was your biggest challenge when starting the club?
My biggest challenge was actually getting Letters to Hope started. I love everything about Letters to Hope, but finding officers, and motivating members has been a challenge. People will say that they want to be part of the club, but later show a lack of commitment. I understand people have busy lives, but the club takes a lot of responsibility. You are not just a club for the school, but you are a club for the world. The world needs us, especially with all the things that have been happening around us. I do feel like this challenge has been getting easier for me because of my drive to help the world.
What did you gain from being the president of the Letters to Hope club?
The Letters to Hope club helped me overcome my fears of public speaking. As the President I need to be able to speak in front of a group of students, at workshops, and other organizations. I have also gained a lot of leadership skills by being an active listener (communication skills), problem solver, teamwork (relationship building), accepting feedback, and being empathetic towards my team. All of this qualities helped me in the school club, and outside in the real word.
Jewel Clarissa Lopez
School of Broadcasting and Communication: India
What motivated you to start Letters to Hope at your high school?
My roots are from an orthodox turned progressive Indian family. I was born and raised in Delhi,India and had always lived a sheltered life. As a child I attended a convent school with strict teachers and had protective parents. My knowledge of how much pain and tragedy there is in this world was narrow. In the year 2017, for pursuing my post graduation, I moved to another city, Mumbai. When I started living by myself, observing and reading everyday, I realized how important it is for us to give back to the society. Meeting people from all over the country, it changed my perspective as how as an individual we can make a difference. The letters to hope club was a chance encounter, where I found the concept of it so simple, refreshing and beautiful. The ability to empathize is so important in this world today and this was an amazing way to reach the hearts of people and help them through their difficult times.
What drives you to help others?
I believe in happiness. In my opinion, everyone deserves the chance to be happy, to live with equality and dignity. Love is what drives me the most to help others. I see people going above and beyond to help their loved ones and that is where I take my inspiration from. Love has the power to bring peace, if as human beings, we learn to love without conditions and drive hatred out of our hearts, live with empathy and be genuine in our intentions. My trust in the goodness of humanity is what strengthens my drive.
What are your future plans and goals?
My goal is to acquire knowledge and study in fields different from my current area of education after completing my masters in journalism and mass communication. However, my interest in being an entrepreneur has me working towards opening my own firm in the near future. Apart from my academic aspirations, I plan to travel the world and learn about the unique cultures it has to offer. I also plan to increase my efforts in giving back to the community.
What are your goals for the Letters to Hope club?
I want to engage a plethora of enthusiastic individuals in the club, writing letters and coming up with ideas for projects for different communities. I hope to inspire others through our efforts and encourage more colleges to form their own club in every city. I have a strong team who share my ideas about love, humanity and empathy and we plan to work together to make Letters to Hope a success and help as many people as possible.