For those of you who’ve read my previous post on Hidden Inspirations you know that I love to elaborate about what inspired me and what inspirations can do to young people. Well today as I was looking through the Invisible Children Blog I stumbled upon something else. What I found made me smile, it made me laugh, and it even made me cry.
Born in an underserved part of downtown Chicago, Natalie Warne and her five siblings had to survive on her mother’s humble teacher salary, moving from city to city to find work. No stranger to adversity, Natalie was determined to make something great out of her life.
At 17, Natalie saw the documentary Invisible Children: The Rough Cut, a film exposing Africa’s longest running war. Compelled by this story, she applied to be a volunteer or “roadie” for Invisible Children, using her voice to help end this war.
She quickly stood out among the other interns, and was quickly given responsibility to help lead Invisible Children’s largest project to date; an event in 100 cities worldwide called “The Rescue.” Through her determination, tens of thousands of people came out to the event, sleeping in the streets for up to six days in order to raise the profile of this war.
Her efforts paid off when Oprah Winfrey invited Invisible Children, and Natalie, onto her show to add her voice to the numbers. The event was then highlighted on Larry King Live, CNN, and countless other news outlets. Natalie has natural charisma, astounding leadership qualities, and is now working in Los Angeles as a film editor, to continue to share stories of injustices.
To say the least Natalie is an inspiration. While watching the video I saw myself. I saw myself after I heard the stories about AIDS in Ghana and the children that are living with it. Something clicked inside of me and said that I couldn’t just sit around, I had to do something. She talks about her “Oprah” moment both in a literal and figurative sense, figuratively being the more important one. What she is saying is exactly what I believe in, the most important moments might not be when you are in the spotlight, but when you are in the shadows. No matter who says what you know in your heart that what you are doing is right. This is exactly how I’m approaching my trip to Ghana. People can say and doubt me all they want but I am doing what I truly love to do. To this day people are questioning why I’m spending thousands of dollars before college and leaving friends and family behind. But please watch Natalie’s video and hopefully you will understand my motives a little better. I’m not looking to have an “Oprah” moment, in my heart I can feel that this is the right thing for me. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.