When I was seventeen, I was struck with a startling realization. People are dying by the millions just because they don't have enough to eat. Half the world's children are sick because they don't have access to clean water. There's a whole continent of people crying out for mercy. How could I dare to try to make my mark on the world without doing anything about the greatest catastrophe in our generation? And how could I eat my next meal without doing something for those who have no idea where their next meal is coming from? 
So I didn't. I transformed my ambitions and immediately began fundraising for those in need. It was contagious! My friends soon surrounded me in my effort and we made it our mission to tell as many people as possible about extreme poverty. By the time we graduated high school, BADALA had become a non-profit. 
In 2008, I traveled to Africa to see extreme poverty first hand. I became best friends with kids with no homes and widows who were forced into prostitution just to feed their families. My best friends aren't asking for handouts; They're asking for a leg up. 
 In our world today we have enough money to eradicate global poverty, but we need to prioritize our resources. Join hands with me as we take a risk for the greatest reward and let's watch as lives are changed forever. 
Joelle McNamara