#BeSureSundays- Blessings from Above


We all know the reason I started Don't Die Afraid was to teach myself how to be comfortable with not having the ability to control every aspect of my life, especially my career. Now a year has passed and I've been pretty successful at that. I landed my current job by walking into an office to inquire more information about their services because I was genuinely curious. Elaine, the woman I met saw my potential and that I would be a great fit for her team. At first there were no positions available  but she advocated for me anyway, in hopes that her office would be able to use me even if it was just for volunteer work. About two weeks later, a position magically opened and the director offered it to little ol' me! It was literally like the position fell into my lap because I got it based off my curiosity for life.

When I started graduate school I was passively looking for jobs because I didn't know if I could handle working and going to school. I went in with the mindset that I would be fine even if I didn't find job because I had a nice stash of money saved.

head down

When I say I love my job, that is an understatement! My job is the helping office on campus because we work hard to make sure students are supported in all aspects of wellness during their college experience. We address the most hard hitting issues: substance abuse, interpersonal violence, sexual health, and nutrition.

The past year working for that office has been an amazing experience and has catapulted me into many other leadership opportunities. I'm so grateful for every minute I spent there. However, since the year is over and budget cuts are the devil, my time with them is over. Bummer, I know! It is unsettling not having a job solidified for September, but I was in this position last year and everything worked out. Everything will be alright....right? When I found out, I cried and briefly thought my world was ending. Then, I remembered three things: my motto (Don't Die Afraid), accept change, and keep my head up. So if you are going through something that has your head down, don't keep it there for too long because you might miss the blessings coming from above. I can't see what my future holds for September but I'm going to go forth fearlessly (the only way).

Have you had any unforeseen recent changes in your career? Can you hook a sister up with a job or pain internship in public health for the summer? (Shoot, I had to ask haha)

Global Health Fellows Program II Internship

When you know of an opportunity, you should share it with others! Want to know a little secret? I haven't always thought this way...I used to suffer from a disease called jealousy. Yes, you read correctly, I called it a disease. I will go into an explanation of that during my next #BeSureSundays. Just wait for it! Jealousy prevented me from sharing with others because in the past I thought I wasn't good enough. I was fearful that if I told others about an opportunity, it would decrease my chances. According to probability it will because the selection pool is now larger (duhhh), but if I am really confident in myself that shouldn't bother me. Thanks to my fearless journey so I Don't Die Afraid, I have gained faith in my abilities.

Now don't get me wrong! If you are applying for your dream job, don't share the link to the opening with your 800+ Facebook friends. However, if there are multiple positions open and you know someone who is unemployed and really wants to get back on his or her feet, then of course spread the wealth!


If you know anyone passionate about public health like myself, please share this internship with USAID for the Global Health Fellows Program II. The deadline is Thursday January 8, 5pm EST, so get those applications in! I applied because obviously it will look outstanding on my resume to work with a well respected organization such as USAID, but it also seems like a positive environment that will foster my personal & professional growth. Listening to previous interns reminisce on their experiences made me believe this internship is really how I should spend my summer. The application process is no skip through a flower bed, wish me luck!

Are you a student? If so, how will you spend your Summer 2015? If you aren't a student, do you plan on traveling? If so where to? Let me know in the comments below!

#BeSureSundays- Don't Ever Give Up

Welcome to 2015! First of all if you are reading this, I am grateful for you! I started Don't Die Afraid this year and it continues to evolve thanks to loyal readers like yourself. Thank you for your unwavering support and we hope you remain an integral part of the Fearless Family for years to come!

Now back to the regularly scheduled post which is about perseverance . Today, we lost Stuart Scott, a legendary ESPN sports anchor. I don't usually follow sports, nor do I watch ESPN (unless Mr. Fearless has it on). However, when he shared the news with me I was sad for him because he really admired Scott and obviously felt sympathy for the Scott family. I just experienced the loss of my grandmother, so those feelings are way too fresh for me. However, as I quickly learned about Scott's legacy through the touching tributes and heartfelt memories shared by his colleagues, I received an understanding for how genuine he was.

Then I learned some history about the Jimmy V Perseverance Award which Scott received just a few months ago.  Jimmy Valvano was a legendary college basketball coach who also battled with cancer. In 1993, he made a powerful acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award introducing, "The V Foundation" which was co-founded with ESPN in the hope to cure cancer. The motto of the organization is "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

I thought this message would be perfect to share for our #BeSureSundays because both men embodied the mantra of "Don't Die Afraid" by living each moment fearlessly, even during the toughest times of their lives. My condolences to Stuart Scott's loved ones. Let his life and Jimmy Valvano's encourage us to fight through every obstacle.

Give Up

You can donate to The V Foundation in honor of Stuart Scott.

Are you an admirer of Stuart Scott? If so leave a comment about your favorite memory of him. If you are a sports fan, who are some of your favorite sportscasters?

Great American Smokeout

The third Thursday in November has been deemed, the "Great American Smokeout" by The American Cancer Society. It is nationally recognized as a day to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.  GASO

So today at George Mason University we celebrated it with a great three hour program targeting both smokers and non-smokers. I was lucky enough to help with planning and executing the event. We had stations with different activities that allowed participants to learn about the stages of quitting and tips on how to help a love one quit. 



When people discuss the harm caused by cigarettes, they usually focus on the connection between smoking and cancer. However, there are a list of other detrimental side effects that smoking cigarettes can lead to.  Did you know smoking could cause blindness? Yup, you read that correctly blindness! This includes cataracts, age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome.


The most fulfilling part of the event was receiving the chance to interact with smokers. One guy quit three days ago and said he doesn't know how long he can go smoke free because he always feels the need to have something in his mouth. He has been a smoker for two years and has tried to quit in the past but wasn't able to last long. Luckily, we were prepared with some resourceful quit kits including silly putty, lollipops, tea, sudoku, and gum. I told him every time he thinks about smoking, go to his quit kit and reminisce on our conversation because my team is rooting for him to refrain from smoking.



If you are a smoker, I challenge you to not smoke for at least 24 hours.

If you aren't a smoker, I challenge you to be supportive of the smokers in your life, unless you used to smoke you have no idea how strong their addiction is. So just show them that you care about their health and are willing to stand by them every step of the way if they are ready to quit.

How would you approach someone to ask them to stop smoking?

Have you ever tried to convince a loved one to quit smoking?