6 Goals for the Fall Semester

Exactly one week from today (the day I’m writing this) I’ll be starting what is hopefully the second-to-last school year before I graduate from college. All my rising juniors out there we only have 4 semesters left! We can do this! Classes haven’t started yet and it’s already shaping up to be a busy semester so I’m setting some goals to help me stay focused on what’s actually important to me and I’m posting them here for accountability.

  1. Find a bullet journaling rhythm that works for me I love the idea of bullet journaling but it feels like a lot to take on so this fall I’m going to focus on slowly adding pieces to it until I find something that fits my life.
  2. Get the best grades I can in all my classes This goal is about as far as you can get from a SMART goal but at least it’s honest haha. I’d love to get As in all of my classes and that is definitely what I’m going to work towards. I also know that I’m going to be taking some difficult classes this semester so ultimately I want to walk away knowing that I put in my best effort and got the best grade I’m capable of even if that’s not an A.
  3. Apply for the Compassion Internship Working for Compassion would be an amazing opportunity career-wise and also a dream come true for me because of how passionate I am about their mission. I’ll be eligible for the summer 2019 internship and applications open in November. This fall I’ll be working on developing skills and networking to set myself up to be a top candidate for the internship.
  4. Learn Adobe Premier Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom In order to take my blog to the next level, and improve my skills for internships and jobs I want to apply for, these are three programs that I would like to learn.
  5. Write to my Compassion Kids every month I love writing to my Compassion kids but it’s not always something that I’m good at doing often so this fall I am going to schedule times to sit down and write to all of them at least once a month.
  6. Blog twice a week Blogging is another thing that I love doing, but often gets pushed aside when I get busy with classes. School is still a higher priority but I want to get into a better rhythm of scheduling posts ahead of time and prewriting content when I’m less busy so when things get hectic my blog isn’t neglected.

What are your goals for this fall? If you are starting your freshman year this semester I have a post just for you! Check out 5 Things to do as a Freshman That Will Set You up for Success!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Compassion El Salvador 2018 Day 1: The Country Office and Home Visits

Out of the three-ish days we spent exploring the country of El Salvador and learning about Compassion programs, the most impactful for me was the day we visited the national office and a new center in San Salvador. The national office is full of passionate, intelligent people who are using their gifts to break cycles of poverty, exploitation, and marginalization that have been affecting their communities for generations. We had the opportunity to hear from several directors of various programs but listening to the directors of the youth development and income generation programs was especially exciting to me because those are already areas that I am passionate about and pursuing a career in.

The youth development program (YDP) was developed by Compassion in conjunction with closing down the leadership development program (LDP). Formerly, students would graduate from the child development program (CDP) at 18 years old and only those who showed the most potential would have the opportunity to enter the LDP and be matched with a sponsor to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher. The YDP extends the benefits of the LDP to more students, allowing them to stay in the CDP until the age of 22 (except in a few countries where military service is mandatory at 18). Students in the YDP receive discipleship, mentorship, and opportunities to be involved in sports, music training, as well as higher education whether that be in a trade or a university degree. The YDP benefits students starting at the age of 12 until they graduate from the program. All but one of my sponsored children is over the age of 15 so it is exciting for me to see Compassion working to provide opportunities to more students than would have been possible with the LDP.

These shoes were made in one of Compassion’s income-generation workshops. I bought the pink pair!

One of the downfalls of the LDP was the high cost of sponsorship. LDP sponsorship is significantly more than the $38 to sponsor a child in the CDP and so significantly fewer people could afford to sponsor a leadership development student. The cost of higher education hasn’t gone down so in order to cover the difference between what sponsorship pays for and what education costs for YDP students many centers have started income generation workshops. In El Salvador, the workshops range from bakeries to shoemaking factories. Students set their own hours around their school schedule and can work up to 20 hours a week to earn income that helps them pay for their education. Not only are students learning useful skills like breadmaking but they are also learning entrepreneurship and how to run a business which will help them earn sustainable income no matter where they go in life. I firmly believe that dignified employment is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and so I am thrilled to see Compassion begin incorporating that into their ministry.


After leaving the national office we visited a center located in San Salvador where we split into groups to visit families involved in the Compassion program and eat lunch in their homes. I visited the home of Maria and her granddaughter Lucero. Lucero has been involved in the Compassion program since her center opened a year ago. She and her brother love soccer and after lunch, they challenged us to a match…needless to say they won that game and the one after it. Lucero’s grandmother, Maria supports her family by selling tortillas. She taught us how to make authentic Salvadoran tortillas and they were delicious! During our visit to the center, I was struck by how amazing the tutors and center staff are. Many of them are not paid and live in the same neighborhoods as the kids they serve but they still work tirelessly to help those kids break out of poverty. Thinking about the Compassion tutors gives me a whole new perspective on sacrificial giving!



I’ll have another post about my trip up soon but I hope what I have shared in this post has made you as excited about Compassion’s ministry as I am! If you are interested in sponsoring a child send me an email or message me on insta or facebook! I would love to help you get started on what is truly an amazing journey!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.




She is Priceless

According to Sheryl WuDunn in her book Half the Sky, there are an estimated 107 million missing girls and women in the world. 107 million women who should be present and identifiable in the population but are not. 107 million babies who were killed in the womb or abandoned after birth, 107 million children who were married off way to young, 107 million adults who were trafficked or murdered.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that every person is created by God with value and that that is very clear in the Bible.

Genesis 1:27 says “God created man (meaning mankind) in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

And in Psalm 139:13-14 King David of Israel says “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.”

From the story of Hagar, to Esther and Ruth, to Mary, and the woman at the well, and Mary Magdalene God shows how He loves women and that He values them enough to use them in His plan of redemption for the world. Despite that for all of history women have been marginalized, abused, treated as property, and told that they were less valuable, capable, and intelligent than men.


That is why I love the work that Mercy House is doing in Kenya. They are providing a safe home, medical care, counseling, and education to young mothers in dangerous situations and loving on their babies.


That’s why when Elizabeth, the young woman I sponsor through Compassion wrote me a letter and told me that she had graduated from secondary school and would be attending college soon, I almost cried. I was more excited for her than I was when I graduated. (Also, we’re both business majors and I’m super excited about that too)

Women are priceless and when they are empowered to reach their potential they have the ability to transform the world.

At this point you might be asking yourself “what can I do?” and I strongly encourage you to find a way to lift up the women in your life and community. That might mean encouraging a high school girl in your church and letting her know you see her hard work and potential, saying thank you to your mom or another woman in your life. It could also mean donating a few hours of your time volunteering at your local women’s shelter or pregnancy crisis center.

Want to take it a step further? Sponsor a girl or woman in poverty. I love Compassion International because they work through the local church and empower people to care for children in their own communities. I also love that you are able to write letters and build a relationship with the child you sponsor. Other organizations that offer sponsorship are Indigenous Ministries, who work with refugees in Iraq and Mercy House who offer the opportunity to sponsor a woman in their transition home in Kenya.

Another option? Buy fairtrade products. Women in poverty don’t want a handout, they want a job. When you buy a product that was made by a woman rising out of poverty the empowerment you are supporting is incredible. This rug and these bracelets are made by the Grandmas of the Mercy House babies, enabling all of them to move out of the slum into clean, safe homes, send their other kids to school, and even in some cases bring kids home from indentured servitude.