How ONE Campus made a leader out of me

This is a guest blog post by Karina Lopez Acero, a sophomore and co-leader of the ONE chapter at University of Arizona.

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I am not a leader.

I never was and I’m pretty sure I never will be. So when I was asked to co-lead the ONE chapter at the University of Arizona, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I think, “Hey, it looks easy enough. I might as well give it a try.” Little did I know that I was signing up for stress, sleepless nights and a whole lot of fun.

When I joined ONE, I had no idea what it was. I just knew they helped others and I thought it was worth giving it a chance. Our fearless leader, Valeria Cordova, showed us our voice really made a difference in others’ lives, and taught me the importance of using it for those who couldn’t.

Soon I found myself falling in love with ONE and its mission and wanted to get more involved. I started coming up with different plans to help spread awareness about what we do and got excited for the rest of my future with ONE.

Fast forward to 2014, and you can typically find me with bags under my eyes and a cup of coffee in my hand. It turns out leading a group of people toward ending extreme poverty can be a bit difficult. I started to question what other chapter leaders were going through. Seeing how I had a co-leader, I must have had it easy compared to everyone else.

However, like a miracle, Meredith Horowski from ONE HQ’s Campus team (and a former ONE Campus leader herself), came to our school a couple of weeks ago to give tips and advice on running a successful campaign. It was during our tabling event with her that I finally realized just how many people truly care about the injustices in the world. And all the work that we were doing was worth it. Knowing that at the end of the day, we were able to make a difference in the world keeps me moving.

So even after staying up late strategizing campaign plans, facing countless administrative obstacles, and hosting failed events, I have found that these things become small bumps in the road that will lead us to our destination of peace. The journey may be tough, but we will definitely get there.

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If you believe where you are born shouldn’t dictate whether you live or die, join a ONE Campus chapter.

Post by ONE at University of Arizona.