As a passionate advocate for human rights, particularly women's rights, I have been searching for a way to create an outlet - a chance to think, feel speak without inhibition - for individuals who were previously excluded from society. I thought that by granting them access to the outside world, they could play a more active role in our online community and help find solutions to global issues. I believe that it is critical for such individuals to participate in the global discourse on major issues because they are typically most affected and most knowledgeable about what is needed to survive and overcome.

I traveled to the foothills of Limpopo Province, South Africa to help teach children and teachers how to incorporate laptops into their daily lesson plans; I produced untold stories from individuals like the sibling of a cancer patient and a family whose father was doing another tour in Afghanistan; and I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for five months and taught female victims of domestic violence photography as a form of therapy and self-expression.

Now, I am living in Washington, DC, looking to continue my work to promote social awareness and combat human rights issues. For the last two years, I have searched for communities and organizations that would grant me the opportunity to connect with individuals around the world without having to travel. From student loans to ridiculously high living rates, I didn't have the funds to pay it myself, and I lost the appeal of my usual benefactors when I graduated and was no longer a student. I came across a few that seemed promising, but it wasn't until I discovered World Pulse a few months ago that I truly felt like I had found what I have been looking for all this time.

I'm so happy to be part of a community that supports citizen journalism development with women around the world. It is wonderful to tell others' stories when they do not have the resources to do it themselves, but it is even better to help others tell their stories and share it with the world. I am excited to see where it takes me and who I connect with!

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HI- I see that you are an editorial mentor for this year's VOF, and am wondering if you will continue to post in your journal here at WP? I have been keeping my eye our for fellow U.S. women with a passion for making unheard voices finally heard. Do you have a particular passion or interest in this context? For example, environmental justice, gender based violence, etc?

Hope to see you around- Michelle

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for reaching out to me! I would love to continue to contribute. Things have been quite crazy lately, and I haven't had the opportunity to really sit down and get my thoughts down, but I certainly plan to keep writing. I'm really passionate about gender based violence and investing in female empowerment and equality.

How about yourself? What are you passionate about? Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Best, Courtney

Courtney Michelle Miller Digital Communications Strategist and Multimedia Producer

Courtney- Thanks for your reply! And don't even mention the crazy- I'm up to my ears in it! After years of intro- and retrospection, I have found that where passion and skill meet is Relationships and Communication. Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist & Feeding Therapist by trade, but in recent years have followed my heart here to WP as an active volunteer. I realized it's all still about Relationships and Communication, right?

I am in process of posting a curriculum series on Passion in Action, and Inspiration for Today. I also keep my eyes out for girls/women needing informal mentoring or encouragement. I'm working closely with WP on a couple of projects as well. This ordinary group of people is doing extraordinary things, and I'm honored to be a part of it all in the little way I am.

You can look for me around the WP site- most of my time is spent reading and making thoughtful comments on a variety of posts. If you'd like to take a more active role, let us know. Scott Beck, aka mrbeckbeck, is the Community Manager so you can either contact him directly, or just private message me. There is a need for translators, especially French, and also for welcomers! All you need to do is try to welcome a few new members each week, or as much as you are able. There are some hints and guidelines that you'd need to know first.

Thanks for your reply and I look forward to seeing you around the pulse!

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich