The Joy From Scratch Podcast is all about how people are creating joy in their communities out of thin air! How are they doing it, you might ask? These young people have made waves through their service and volunteerism. Even you (yes, you!) can make a tangible impact in your community no matter how insignificant you might feel. You have the innate ability to do good, whether it’s raising money for your favorite cause, or donating your time. No matter the reason you want to serve, be it for your resume, college application, pageant platform, or simply to create joy for yourself and others, this is the place to be inspired by people who are already doing it. Tune in to hear firsthand from some volunteer pros why they did it, how they did it, and the ways it changed them.

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Episode 1: Meet the Host- Sophia Takla

The creator of Joy From Scratch Blog & Podcast, and Operation Joy.

To read more about my background, go to the About page of the blog.

Episode 2:

Hermona Girmay

Hermona Girmay is a 19-year-old college sophomore from Seattle, Washington who began pageantry at age 11 with no idea that this hobby would help to discover her passion for volunteerism. As a first-generation Eritrean-American, Hermona grew up hearing stories from her parents about poverty back home and how these living conditions impact the lives of children across her native country. After witnessing this firsthand on a trip to Eritrea in kindergarten, Hermona knew she wanted to help, but didn’t know how. Her time in pageantry has inspired her to do more, as she created a non-profit organization collecting books and school supplies for children in schools and orphanages within her family’s village, but today advocates for and helps to sponsor girls around the world to further their education through her volunteerism with the organization She’s the First, which has helped to provide scholarships for more than 7,841 girls across 11 countries.

Episode 3:

Caitlyn Kramer

Caitlyn Kramer has been passionate about community service and volunteerism since 2005. She has volunteered with numerous organizations throughout her life. Some of the organizations that Caitlyn has volunteered with were House of Hope Domestic Violence Shelter, Emerge Center Against Violence, Hope Kids AZ, Gospel Rescue Mission, Douglas Care Fair, American Legion Auxiliary, Feed my Starving Children, Salvation Army, Frontera de Cristo, and numerous other organizations. Caitlyn decided she wanted to give back to her own community by starting her own organization. While Caitlyn was attending the University of Arizona, she took classes on how your social economic background can have an effect on your schooling. Coming from the small border town of Douglas Arizona Caitlyn could make connections to what she was learning at the University to experiences that many of her classmates had. This inspired Caitlyn to make a difference. Caitlyn started her organization Project Happiness Arizona with a mission to promote happiness through community service, student leadership, and volunteerism. Caitlyn has been able to donate over 5,000 school supplies through her organization. These supplies have been donated all across the state of Arizona as well as Agua Prieta Mexico. Caitlyn hopes to inspire others to find a need in their community and find a way to make a difference and help others. 

Episode 4:

Ashlee Neelson

Bio coming soon!

Episode 5:

Lexi Delgado

No stranger to both the pageant and theatre stage, Lexi has dedicated 14 years of her life to volunteering. As an avid community theatre performer, she has over 7000 hours of volunteer service and has performed in over 80 musicals and plays. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 4, and works closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Over 10 family members suffer from Diabetes, so she made it her life’s mission to find a cure. In 2013, she and her sister were chosen out of 1000s of delegates from the state of Florida to travel to Washington D.C. and spoke on Capitol Hill to fund for Type 1 Diabetes research. 

Episode 6:

Ella Osborne

Ella Osborne, at just 7 years old, founded a non-profit event called the Vision Fun Run. Born with subcapsular cataract and unspecified amblyopia, Ella, now 12, struggled to see clearly; However, when it comes to advocating in front of legislature, running her own organization, stepping into the role of spokesperson for the Oregon Lions, training nearly 23 hours a week as a pre-professional dancer, maintaining a 4.0 GPA at her fine arts middle school, creating a social media brand on Instagram and YouTube or winning a National pageant title, the aspiring powerbroker of eye care for all kids has perfect vision.  

Episode 7:

Jordan Meachum

Jordan Meachum is a recent graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Finance and Legal Studies & Business Ethics. Jordan’s leadership skills have flourished earning recognition from the state, national, and international level. This world traveler studied abroad in Japan during her senior semester and was selected to represent the Wharton School of Business in Bangkok, Thailand. When Jordan is not traveling, you’ll find her preparing to be the next Miss USA. With over 10 years of competition experience, this pageant veteran has won several state and national titles. She advocates for students with learning disabilities, as a councilwoman on the Young Adult Leadership Council for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. In her free time, you can find Jordan doing what she loves: watching movies, cooking, and kickboxing!

Episode 8:

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper began her pageant journey at 8 years old when she captured the title of Miss California Jr. Pre Teen. Since then, she has held state titles, as well as the National All-American Miss title. Sarah recently earned a degree in Cinematic Arts from Azusa Pacific University and currently works as a Talent Administrator at a top Influencer Management Company in Southern California. Sarah spends her free time walking her dog and working on crafty projects!

Episode 9:

Ellie Emery

Ellie Emery has been a very active student at Tigard High School! She is involved in many clubs, sports and organizations. Her biggest goal in life is to inspire as many people as she can. When she grows up, she wants to change the world and make it better. Her proudest accomplishment was getting elected as the Sparrow Club President. She got to meet tons of wonderful people involved in the club, including a sweet family this year. Sparrow Club has made her realize that compassion is greater!

Want to be a guest on the show?

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