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The Sky’s the Limit

Colleen McBride (sophomore)

I’ll never forget the moment I first read about Empower Orphans. I was sitting at my kitchen table working on my college applications when I stumbled upon a Penn State article titled “Penn State Schreyer Scholar wins 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize.” While Penn State was certainly my top choice of schools, this article definitely enhanced my eagerness to become a Nittany Lion. At that moment, I knew I would not only be able to find school spirit and academic rigor at Penn State, but I would also be able to fulfil my passion for community service. Nine months later, I found myself talking to Neha Gupta, the founder of Empower Orphans, at the Penn State involvement fair. About a month after that, I began working as the PR chair for the organization’s PSU chapter. Today, over two years later from the time I scrolled through that article, I am serving Empower Orphans PSU as its Director of Public Relations.

From the moment I attended the first meeting of Empower Orphans PSU, I knew I had found something special. The chapter at the time was less than a year old on Penn State’s campus, and to me that was refreshing. Here I was with the opportunity to help build an organization from the ground up, and I embraced it. I saw people who were passionate about a mission deeply rooted in empathy, opportunity and equality. I felt an energy that was truly unlike anything I had felt before –  it was new, exciting, and powerful.

That energy is still alive today; in fact, I would dare to say it’s even stronger. In less than two years, this organization has made immense strides not only in its membership base but also in its fundraising and community outreach efforts. It’s a very special time to be a member of Empower Orphans PSU – the sky’s the limit in a sense, and there is room for good failure. This is the time when we can explore our limits and develop ways to surpass them. It’s hard work, and quite honestly, frustration is not a stranger. But with the passion deeply planted into our mission by our founding members, we are driven to keep moving forward, keep building up, and keep the ripples of our impact steady.

I have witnessed firsthand how one person can make a difference in this world. Though immensely inspired by this concept, I can’t help but think, if one person can make a ripple, imagine the wave that a community can create. Empower Orphans PSU is determined to make a wave, and I’m enjoying the ride.

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