Meet 19 year old Cassidy Murray! She is the director of Humanity Up, co-founder of Changemaker Odyssey, and co-founder of Kids Unite 4 Hope! Read on to learn more about her experience with her organizations and what she takes from the experiences!
Tell us a little bit about you 🙂
I’m Cassidy Murray - a teen refugee advocate, international speaker, and activist who has traveled to 100+ countries around the globe volunteering and empowering youth to make a change for a brighter future. I’m the director of HumanityUp and co-founder of non-profit Kids Unite 4 Hope and I’m passionate about making a difference in the world through my work with Syrian and Afghan refugees in Greece. Since 2015 I’ve been volunteering with refugee children and women and even started my own school in a refugee center to empower and teach young kids, teens, and mothers to know their rights. My mission is to empower the next generation of youth to become global change makers and create a new future based on peace, unity, and equality.
You have already so much drive and I’m so excited to spend some time learning about your experience getting to this point! To start…..
What first sparked the idea for your organization(s)?
What first sparked the formation of my multiple organizations was seeing how youth CAN make a difference in the world. At 14 years old I began volunteering in refugee camps and creating my own school for kids who had no education in the camps - this experience ultimately created the foundation for my future in youth advocacy and empowering young people across the world to use their voice to create change for a brighter future.
I think having a vision is so important and it seems very clear that you have had vision for quite some time. In this process of learning and volunteering, you were inspired to take action so I’m curious to know…..
How did your organizations go from an idea to something real?
The first step from turning something from an idea into reality is facing your fears and self doubts. Many times what stops us from realizing our true potential & beginning to take action are our insecurities and our limiting beliefs. Along my journey I learned to overcome those fears by remembering why I want to make a difference in the first place. Staying rooted in my purpose and passion helped me overcome those negative beliefs so that I could take that leap of faith and begin taking action!
We definitely spend time discussing that so I’m glad you brought it up, fear can be such a massive hindrance in terms of stopping us from doing things we already know we can do. Then after you starting taking action,
Was money a barrier or was there any significant money needed to get started? If so, how did you get it?
When I first founded my charity, Kids Unite 4 Hope, my family and I were on the coast of Turkey volunteering with families in need of essential supplies such as food, water, and shelter. We quickly realized we needed funding to help them and started a GoFundMe page for the cause! If you’re a volunteer and are looking to fund a project, this is a great way to do so!
It’s wonderful that you had success with GoFundMe! Crowdfunding can be so difficult so congratulations on using it to the advantage of your organization and those you serve. At the core of the service you provide,
What do you feel makes your organization(s) special?
All three of my organization’s are completely youth run and founded by youth - this not only helps us to keep our vision focused on current issues affecting our generation, but also keeps us centered on problems that we will face in the future. The youth are the ones who will inherit this earth and along with all the good of the world, we will also inherit the bad - this is why we need to begin making a change here and now for a better future.
I am so inspired by young women like yourself who are doing what you can right now and empowering other youth to come along with you! I’m sure along this road of building your organization has revealed a lot to you. So…..
What lessons has starting and running this organization(s) taught you?
The biggest lesson I learned through all my experiences is: no one is unqualified when it comes to serving humanity. No matter age, gender, ethnicity, country, or color - you can make an impact in the world. This is a lesson I believe many of the youth of today should learn as we can often feel like our voice doesn’t matter. However, in reality, our message as youth is incredibly powerful and impactful and much needed in the world at this time.
An excellent lesson and I think it’s one that is often overlooked. You’re absolutely right. We all have something to contribute and if we feel it in our hearts to take action, then we should. But even with passion and hard work, sometimes things still don’t go right.
What or who keeps you going on the hard days?
When I begin to lose hope or when I face a particularly hard day, I think about all the people that I am doing this work for. I think about the refugee children who need my help to get an education, I think about all the young people across the world who want to make a difference but don’t know how. Reminding myself WHO I am doing my work for, helps keep me aligned with both my purpose and the mission of my work.
Being mission orientation and focusing on your “WHY” is some of the greatest advice there is. It makes me feel hopeful for the future that young women are learning that lesson early! Thank you so much for reminding us all of that very very important frame of focus!
My last question for you is a staple with our interviews!
Why do you believe we need more young girls starting organizations?
I didn’t believe I could make a difference, I would think to myself: no young girl like you has ever made a vast difference in the world. I quickly proved myself wrong. I realized that there were in fact many young women and girls who were already changing the world in grand ways. I began to look at these change makers and activists as figures of change and support in my life. I believe that if we show more women making a difference, we can begin to empower more young girls to begin making a change even in small ways. Only together can we change the world and this is exactly why we need to empower everyone of every age, gender, religion, color and lifestyle to make that change TOGETHER.
Cassidy, it has been wonderful talking to you and learning about just how much you've done as well as all you are working towards. Thank you for sharing your time and your experiences with us. I have no doubt that you are an inspiration to me and I look forward to following your journey!
Connect with Cassidy and her organizations!
Humanity Up Website: humanity-up.com
Changemaker Odyssey Website: changemakerodyssey.com
Kids Unite 4 Hope Website: kidsunite4hope.org/
Cassidy's Instagram: www.instagram.com/cassidycapri
Thank you so much for reading!
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