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(From left) Cousins Hallie Lyons and Megan Yeoman baked sweet treats before their first meeting as Teen Ambassadors of Hope.
When I was a child, my grandmother used to always tell me that if I’m not making someone else’s life better, then I’m wasting my own. This message has rung in my ears throughout my life, motivating me to always go out of my way to be of service to others. In January of 2018, when my cousin Megan Yeoman nominated me to be an ambassador for an organization called Texas Advocacy Project (TAP), I jumped at the opportunity. My time over the summer with the Texas Advocacy Project opened my eyes to tragedy in my own city and set a fire for change in my heart.
Texas Advocacy Project is an organization that provides free legal services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of relationship abuse. As an ambassador for this organization, I spent the summer raising awareness and money for the organization by partnering with individuals and local businesses. We even handed out flyers on street corners, made phone calls to boutiques and grocery stores, and hosted events of our own like bake sales and neighborhood music concerts. Through the three months that our campaigns were active, I was able to witness my fellow ambassadors’ creativity come alive in efforts to support TAP. My cousin, also an ambassador, baked and sold cookies on Lake Travis in Austin where she lives. Another girl on our team produced an entire concert in her hometown, and all the profits went towards the organization. These were just a few of the many ways our team worked towards making a difference.
Volunteering as an ambassador for Texas Advocacy Project opened my heart to all the ways people my own age can bring about change. Over the course of a couple months, a group of teenagers raised over $20,000 to provide support for victims of relationship assault, all while making friends with other students across Texas. Through this experience, I learned that I am not able to change everybody’s lives, but if I can change just one, I am making an important and necessary difference.