Headbands of Hope: How One College Student Refused to Wait to Make a Difference
Kent Campus - Cartwright Hall
Who says an internship can’t change your life?
During the summer of her junior year, Jess Ekstrom worked for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. As she interacted with children facing life-threatening illnesses, she discovered that young girls loved to wear headbands instead of wigs after losing their hair to chemotherapy. Armed with inspiration to do good beyond her internships, she soon after founded Headbands of Hope.
HOH creates fun, fashionable headbands, and for every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to childhood cancer research. Since launching the organization in 2012, HOH has been featured on The Today Show, Seventeen Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur.com and more. Most importantly, thousands of headbands have been donated to girls coast-to-coast fighting cancer.
So many college students want to make a difference, and plan to do it “someday.” Jess is living proof that a college student with an amazing idea and a willingness to act on it need not wait. College students can build companies, affect change, and solve problems before graduation, if they have the commitment.
In her campus keynote, Jess shares her journey creating Headbands of Hope, encouraging audience members to change awareness of issues into action. “Awareness is only skimming the surface of change,” she said. “When we focus on action instead of just awareness, things really change.”