One of my favorite things about working at Fighting Pretty is mentoring our Student Ambassador Teams. The beginning of May was my annual visit with "Fighting Pretty Mizzou", a group of students at the University of Missouri, Columbia committed to supporting the Fighting Pretty mission. This year, I was so excited my visit would coincide with their spring Packing Party - a time when the members create Pretty Packages for patients in their community.
Getting to the meeting was an adventure, and a really good story for another time. But when I arrived at the conference room three minutes before the meeting started, I was floored. That room was packed! There were at least 100 college students in attendance.
I stood in awe and listened while the executive team of Fighting Pretty Mizzou talked through their recent fundraising efforts, outreach events, and points members had earned (students must earn a specific number of points each semester to be considered "active" members). The executive team governs over 200 student members, they budget, they conceptualize and execute multiple team-building and fundraising events. Plus, they help hundreds of women battling cancer in their area - spreading the Fighting Pretty mission. I am blown away by them, and wish I had half their self-awareness and dedication when I was a college student.
Then a young woman named Hannah Walker stood up to speak. Hannah's mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the end of 2020. Hannah's friend Katie is a member of Fighting Pretty Mizzou and nominated Hannah's mother to receive a Pretty Package. Sadly, Hannah's mother passed away before she could receive the Pretty Package and it was given to Hannah in her memory. Hannah talked about the impact of the mini boxing gloves and how that Pretty Package demonstrated to her that even though her mom was gone, Hannah wasn't alone. The Fighting Pretty Mizzou community circled around her, supporting her and giving her a space to remember and honor her mother.
This is why we do what we do.
Then I watched these inspiring, smart, beautiful and eager students carefully and lovingly assemble 200 Pretty Packages meant for hospitals in St. Louis and Columbia, as well as nominated individuals.
At Fighting Pretty, we know we are not going to eradicate cancer with our Pretty Packages. We know lipstick and a little pair of gloves won't cure a brutal disease. But, we provide the tools to remind ea person that that they can meet each new day with hope, with grace, and the support of a community...there is strength and power in that. And, spending time with 100+ college students who already understand that gives me hope for the world.
Corinne Christian is our Director of Outreach and Community at Fighting Pretty. If you have questions about Fighting Pretty Mizzou or you are interested in starting your own Student Ambassaador Team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.