Giving Back Is Awesome



I miss college sometimes, y’all. I really do. I graduated from the University of South Florida in 2007 and while I spent most of my college career stressing over money or grades (pshhhtt, or both), I had a lot of fun too. And I’m not talkin’ drunken kind of fun. Girl no. When I wasn’t in class, working, hanging out with friends or trying to catch some Z’s, I was involved in some volunteer organization on campus. From the moment I stepped on campus until the day I graduated, I made it my duty to “help” in some way. I focused on different organizations each year but one of the most influential events that shaped me into the person I am today was that time I went to Philadelphia to volunteer at a school.

Alternative Spring Break is what they called it. Instead of jetting to Cancun, Mexico or taking up a weeklong stay on their sofas, college students involved in Alternative Spring Break jetted to another city and volunteered their vacations away. I joined a group of 15 fellow students and we bused our way from Tampa, Florida to Philadelphia. We bunked on the floors of a church in an area of North Philly called the Badlands. Each day we worked on various projects. From street clean-up to volunteering at the neighborhood school, we not only got to help out a community in need but we had a great time doing it.


Coca-Cola is launching a Pay It Forward campaign that’s all about giving back and experiences like mine in Philly have totally convinced me to continue to pay it forward. Since that trip I’ve been volunteering as much as a I can through various organizations.

Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for
each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coca-Cola.



  • Kathy H.

    😀 I’m going to USF next year actually and that seems like a really cool thing to do. I actually started really loving volunteering during my last 2 years of highschool. Sadly I’ve had to stop this semester to get all my senior graduation things under control first.

    • Brittany

      Woo hoo! Go Bulls! Grades come first. :) ZOMG…I sound like a parent. Eek!

  • Lavendar

    My son went on alternative spring break last Spring; he went to New Orleans. He had a blast, and he still talks about the preschoolers he mentored. He made a lot of friends from all over the country as well. It’s a phenomenal program for young people.

  • You’re awesome! You’ve done so much to give back.I love that Coca Cola is doing a Pay it Forward campaign.

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