College students are filled with passion. Passion for the arts, for school, for life. It is refreshing, however, to come across students who are passionate about making a change. We decided to spotlight one of our very own Style Gurus who is making waves by giving back to her community in a big way. Crystal Schreiner is a photographer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and a college student at Marquette University. Crystal spends her summers volunteering at the non-profit Milwaukee Summer Entertainment Camp where she puts her photography skills to good use to help young kids realize their dreams. Her company, GoGeddit, was also founded with charity in mind by creating jobs, getting involved in the community, and donating one percent of all its revenue to the MACC Childhood Cancer Research Fund. Crystal juggles life as a volunteer, entrepreneur and student all with one thing in mind: giving back. Our hope is that our Q&A with Crystal will inspire you to make some waves of your own.
CollegeFashionista: What made you want to get involved in non-profits?
Crystal Schreiner: Helping with non-profit organizations has always been in my life. I think it's great to step away from work and help make somebody else's life better. I was raised with great parents who were always involved in the community and Marquette University is very well known nationally to be community of students and faculty that help make a difference. Our school's tagline is ironically “Make a Difference” and it's become a second nature to me. Working hands-on with a non-profit is always an amazing experience. This summer, I'll be helping with Milwaukee Summer Entertainment Camp, an amazing service camp to the community. I can see the kids smile, learn and grow and become part of their future in even the smallest way. I just love inspiring and motivating.
CF: Why do you think it is important to give back to your community?
CS: I believe I am here to change lives. I develop myself to help others through my talents. In the long run, it creates a better life for others and it makes me feel better at the end of the day. Not everybody has the resources, knowledge, or money- but plenty of people do and can share. Giving back is important because an act of kindness is seed to another act of kindness. I've been influenced by so many people because they weren't greedy and they wanted to help me- so now it's my turn!
CF: How do you balance being a student, entrepreneur and philanthropist?
CS: It has been a challenge, that's for sure. I'm not the perfect example of living a balanced life, but I try! It comes with a lot of sacrifices and staying in some Friday and Saturday nights. I learned to settle for less than perfect grades in class. Knowing that I was getting real world experience launching a business, I really focused on the entrepreneur aspect of my life and my photography passion. I am 100% driven by passion, and that's the way I believe it should be. I've set my priorities toward specific goals and learned to work extremely efficiently on not so many hours of sleep. Helping and planning charity events goes hand in hand with our business. We want to be a business that helps the community, so it's important that we take the time to lend a hand. I also drink a lot of coffee and have a track record of listening to European techno to keep my energy going.
CF: How do your efforts impact your community?
CS: My efforts in co-founding GoGeddit have greatly impacted our community in many ways. We strive to help local businesses that we work with. It's important to us that they are successful. Building strong relationships with people in the community is also great, pretty soon you have a group of people willing to help with non-profit events and together you can raise more awareness. We've co-hosted several of our events with locals. It increases the economy in our hometown. Milwaukee's unemployment rate is also very low and our business gives jobs and experience to people who would maybe otherwise not be able to find employment. In times like today, when the job market is tough, it's critical to be innovative. Creating businesses that can create jobs, help other local businesses, and in the mix give to charity really impacts the city. Right now is a great time to get innovative, there's room for motivated people step in a become leaders.
CF: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in getting involved in non-profits?
CS: Find an organization or non-profit you are passionate about. Passion, passion, passion. Your heart will glow and people will be touched. When I feel passionate about something, I laugh, I smile, I dance, I might even skip, I speak from this burning love inside and it sticks with people. Put yourself out there and don't be shy.
Now you can also help make a difference by just one click. For every Wave for Change® video view at Neutrogena.com/waveforchange or on Facebook.com/Neutrogena, Neutrogena® will donate $1 to GlobalGiving to support U.S. educational charities. Watch. Donate. Share.
Any Neutrogena® Wave for Change® video views on Neutrogena.com/waveforchange and on Neutrogena® page on Facebook 7/1/12-8/31/12 will activate $1 donation to GlobalGiving. Neutrogena® will kick-off Wave for Change® with $100K donation. Then, for each eligible video view, Neutrogena® will donate for a maximum of $130K. For more information about GlobalGiving, visit GlobalGiving.org.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Neutrogena® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Neutrogena®