Several years ago, I embarked on the adventure of founding Undaunted Women, a nonprofit grounded in the simple yet powerful belief that everyone deserves a friend and support when adjusting to a new country. Little did I know that a series of seemingly small acts of kindness would set in motion a chain of events that would shape the future of a young woman named S.
It all began when my colleague, Julie, secured a donation of laptops from the Charles Wright Academy. A young man took our request for donations to the school board, and another generously donated his time to reset the laptops. Little did they know, these seemingly routine actions would soon become instrumental in changing a life.
During a visit to a family, I had the privilege of meeting S., a young woman who had just arrived from Afghanistan with dreams of becoming a doctor. In that moment, I offered her one of the donated laptops, not just as a tool for her studies but as a symbol of belief in her dreams.
Fast forward to this month, and I was greeted by an email from S. In her message, she shared her incredible journey — obtaining her associate degree, gaining admission to the University of Washington, majoring in biology with a focus on molecular cellular and development, and even participating in a summer internship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Her words radiated gratitude, and it was evident that the small act of encouragement years ago had blossomed into a transformative force in her life.
As I reflect on S.'s journey, I can't help but think of the unsung heroes behind the scenes — the young man at Charles Wright Academy who advocated for our cause, the technician who reset the laptops, Julie, and the woman who patiently answered my myriad questions about community college requirements so I could help S apply. Do they realize the impact they've had?
Our actions, no matter how small, can create ripples of change that extend far beyond our immediate awareness. S's story serves as an invitation to all of us to reflect on the individuals who have made a difference in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly.
In the spirit of celebration and gratitude, I invite you to share your stories.
Who has made a difference in your life?
And on behalf of all those you’ve impacted who haven’t yet had a chance to let you know, Thank you. Your efforts matter. Your support matters. You help me see the hope within myself. You help me reach my dreams.