Make a Difference: Wear a Headbands of Hope
Meet Jessica Ekstrom. She is a North Carolina State college student, Florence and the Machine listener, warm brownie eater, sassy headband giver, and childhood cancer advocate.
In the summer of 2011, Jessica worked as an intern for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina. During this time, Jessica got to see the life-changing impact working with children with life-threatening illnesses had on her life. Then, one day while pulling her hair back, Jessica started to think about the impact hair loss from chemotherapy would have on a little girl.
On April 25, 2012, Headbands of Hope launched.
The idea behind Headbands of Hope is this: for every headband purchased, a headband is given to a girl with cancer and $1.00 is donated St. Baldrick's Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.
"When you're exposed to something like kids' cancer, you can't forget about it. So when I interned at Make-A-Wish, I knew I wanted to do something on my own to help. Looking back, I wasn't nervous because I knew that everything would be worth it once I saw the first girl get a headband, and I was right."
Just this year, Jessica had the chance to distribute hundreds of headbands to girls all across the country, and although she is ecstatic at the opportunity to serve children with cancer, Jessica hopes the future of Headbands for Hope is short-lived.
"Hopefully, Headbands for Hope won't have a long future because there will be a cure for cancer. In the meantime, I see Headbands of Hope continuing to come out with new collections for every style, continuing to donate to girls around the nation, and fund childhood cancer research."
Jessica's advice for wanna be world-changers is simple:
"Go for it and don't look back. I started my company in college when I was just about to turn twenty. Now, one year later, I look back and am so grateful that I had the courage and support to pour everything I had and make Headbands of Hope what it is today. If I started the company and let myself get consumed with doubts, my hesitations would have turned detrimental to my company."
Do you know any young and inspiring world changers?
Amy L. Sullivan. Word lover. Book devourer. Music addict. Amy is a Northern girl who found herself living in the South. She drinks sweet tea, turns her nose up at okra, and attempts to tell her daughters “yella” isn’t a color.