Nicole, a Rotaract member in Hawaii, shares her personal journey of finding hope amidst darkness. Despite her own struggles, she committed to organizing the Young Leaders Celebration, prioritizing the youth and their hard work. Unexpectedly, a job opportunity aligned with her field arose, reinforcing her belief in the reciprocal nature of creating hope for oneself and others. Nicole's story illustrates the transformative power of selflessness and the interconnectedness of actions, demonstrating how creating hope can bring about lasting change in individuals and communities. 

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If we create hope for others, I believe that we are truly creating hope for ourselves. And vice versa, if we create hope for ourselves, we can inspire others and create hope for them as well. It all just changes based on our intentions.

Not too long ago, I was in the darkest time in my life, the lowest of lows. No one knew until I hit rock bottom, and even then, most people didn’t know what happened, and most people still don’t know; but that’s not important. Short story, I saw no light until one day, I decided I couldn’t keep doing what I wanted to do because I had other responsibilities for Hawai’i’s youth. I was in charge of spearheading the District 5000 Young Leaders Celebration, and I couldn’t just bail on all the hard work that had already gone into the event by the planning committee, nor could I bail on the youth who worked hard throughout the year and deserved this celebration. I wasn’t even in Hawai’i at the time, but I knew I had to come home and do what I said I would do. My intention was to give the youth what they deserved and not bail on people who were counting on me. I put them before myself. At least in words, on paper, that's what it may be.

At the time, I was also struggling to find a job in my field of study, and it was hitting me kind of hard. I wanted to give up. Not one week after I decided I was going to continue what I started with the Young Leaders Celebration and had to go home, I got a text. “Hi Nicole. You’re still living in Hawai’i right? I know you mentioned you were looking for a job, not sure if you still are, but I am at a conference for work and met the Hawai’i branch. They said they are looking for a planner and told them about you so make sure you’re back in Hawai’i next week to meet with them.”

When I tell you that I dropped to my knees and immediately started crying, I mean it. At the time, I still wasn’t excited to go home; I just knew I had to and committed to it. Getting this text, however, gave me the slightest bit of hope and confirmation. It gave me hope that I would be ok. Less than 2 weeks later, I was offered the job. Coincidence? Maybe. But what does it matter when I did something for someone else, and in turn, life gave me a bit of hope too?

Let me connect this even further. This friend that texted me, I once brought light to his life. I didn’t know it, not until I found out from my mom years later that he talked to her at my graduation party about how I saved his life. More to it, this friend was an officer with me while a part of the Rotaract Club of Arizona State University, and near the end of our term, he was one of the core people that encouraged me to start a Rotaract club when I moved back to Hawai’i and when I finally decided to do so, supported me every step of the way. Because of him, I am where I am today, dating back to 7 years ago – it went full circle.

So what does the theme “create hope in the world” mean to me? It means doing what you do but with the right intention. If you choose the right times to say, “this is for me” and “this is for someone else,” then in turn, it’ll truly be for both. In turn, you will create hope for both your world and the world’s world, and that hope can last a lifetime.

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