Guest blogger Kali Johnson currently serves as the Director of Communications for Solid Ground Innovations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA. She graduated from the Manship School of Mass Communication in May 2014 with a Master of Mass Communication. Kali is an avid reader and an even greater sports fan. In her free time she enjoys reading, crafting and cooking. To learn more about Kali or to connect with her, click here.

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Kali Johnson, 2014 graduate of the Manship School

In 2016 we find ourselves in a world full of amazing people accomplishing amazing things in just about every way imaginable. Unfortunately, we also find ourselves in a world full of lack, despair and pain. The two are exactly why I give of myself so much and so often, and why I believe if we all do our part we’d see much more of the former and less of the later.

My passion for giving back was birthed in college. I volunteered at nursing homes, after school programs, neighborhood cleanups, you know, the most common ways individuals give back. And I loved it! I loved it so much so that upon graduating, I realized my passion for giving outweighed my passion for becoming a sports reporter.

I call my finding the company I work for, Solid Ground Innovations, “divine intervention.” SGI has provided me with a unique opportunity to work with organizations and companies in various industries to impact the world around me through communications. I firmly believe that as long as my work is rooted in social good, I’ll be satisfied and fulfilled. I’d like to share a few reasons why I believe it’s so critical that we serve others:

It builds and strengthens communities. I grew up in what is considered North Baton Rouge, which is north of Florida Boulevard. Over the years, this vast portion of the city has deteriorated in ways I never thought I’d see. I give back, in large part to that area of the city, because I know what it once was and I know what it can be. It’s important that every sector of our community has access to quality schools, fresh food and safe neighborhoods. Everyone deserves that.

It’s therapeutic. Studies show that giving back actually reduces stress. It’s been found that when you focus on others, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns. It’s been proven to be true in my life.

You’re blessed. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life and not realize how fortunate you are to drink clean water, sleep in a warm bed, and even have access to this blog you’re reading now. I challenge you to do what you can to help others experience those things in life as well.

The next generation needs us now. It’s no secret that the family construct is much different today than it was 50 years ago. Over 16 million kids in the U.S. are living in poverty, many of which live in single-parent homes and are receiving a poor quality of education. I believe if more people adopt the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality and give of themselves, we can positively impact our world.

I hope these points ignite a spark in you to give back. Your legacy is not based on how much money you made or what car you drove. Your legacy is based on how you served others and touched lives. Set a goal not to just survive, but to be significant.

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