My parents were the ones in my life who inspired me into choosing my platform. No matter where life seemed to bring them they always kept giving. For example, whenever my dad would go back home to Kenya, my parents would focus on bringing soccer balls, notebooks, pencils so that when they’d visit schools they could pass it out to students. This is something that has not come to a halt, they enjoy doing this because it brings smiles to young children’s faces.  Another person who inspired me to choose my platform is my aunt. I remember after church she would take my siblings and I to the grocery store to collect goods to bring to less fortunate families. 

      It made me realize just by simply helping others you can make a huge positive impact on their lives and yours. Growing up I was a very introverted individual but what helped me become more extroverted was when I volunteered at soup pantries on the weekends in high school. It didn't stop there, I began volunteering at nursing homes, hospitals, thrift stores and more. It was through these volunteering opportunities I was able to find my love for cooking! Through these volunteering opportunities I’ve learned that no matter who you are, we as individuals share one thing in common, that is our humanity. Individuals that I've come in contact with through volunteering had so many reasons to give up on life and struggled to find their place in this world.
​   I realized that by being there shows the individual that they are not alone and there are people in this world that do care. One thing that took me some time to learn was in order to be helpful to others, you have to not allow yourself to become weighed down by their pain too often. This can be tricky but you learn quickly that in order to be useful to anyone you must take care of yourself.

  Volunteering has perfected my people skills; I no longer feel nervous or scared when talking to strangers. It has helped in disciplining me to realize that to every action in life you make there are results. These results can either make us or break us but how we react to it and who is there to help us can determine just how journey will be.

    As North Dakota International Ambassador of 2017, I spend my days just wondering, planning, thinking with the thought of "what can I do next!" I want people to embrace giving a helping hand to those that need it the most. I want people to see that no matter how difficult your life maybe, there are always others going through far worse. No, this is not a comparison competition but it's  life! In life we need to be able to lend a helping hand. 
Wiljar Ojuro 
North Dakota International Ambassador 2017

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