Born This Way Foundation: Gratitude, Pride, Love, and Kindness

When I look back on my time as a Channel Kindness Reporter, a few words immediately come to mind: gratitude, pride, love, and, of course, kindness.

Gratitude. There aren’t words to describe how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to meet and work with such wonderful people. During the Channel Kindness convening in January, I was randomly assigned a roommate to share a hotel room with: Ash López. My roommate’s name was unfamiliar to me, and I knew that I had not met her throughout the day’s activities. When I walked into our hotel room and introduced myself to Ash, I had no idea that I was about to meet someone who would turn out to be an absolutely incredible friend. Once we started talking, we didn’t stop. We talked for hours that night and found that we were eerily similar in a lot of ways. We have stayed in touch ever since we met. We have been there for each other throughout it all this year, both good and bad, always willing to offer a listening ear or a “Girl, you’ve got this!” pep talk. I am forever grateful to Channel Kindness for introducing me to Ash, and for helping us to start a lifelong friendship.

Pride. I am so unbelievably proud to have played even a small part in furthering the mission of Born This Way Foundation. It is an organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place to live and reinforces the idea that each and every person can make a difference.

Love. I have felt nothing but love for Born This Way Foundation staff, my fellow Channel Kindness Reporters, and every person I highlighted in my Channel Kindness articles. Born This Way Foundation is run by such a talented, fearless, genuinely compassionate group of people who work tirelessly to ensure that no question goes unanswered, no request for help is denied, and, most importantly, no voice goes unheard. The passion and love that those at Born This Way Foundation radiate has inspired me to not only be a better writer and advocate but a better human being.

Kindness. After being immersed in talk about kindness, courage, and positive change for a year, I am more apt to recognize kindness, no matter how small, in the world around me. I feel kindness in a way that I haven’t felt before. Little gestures that I might not have paid much attention to in the past now strike a chord with me. I have allowed my perspective on kindness to become infused in everything I do — whether it is in the work we do at our nonprofit organization PATAsphere, in my university-level teaching, or in sessions with my clients, I explicitly emphasize my expectation and my appreciation of kindness.

I’ve always believed that kindness is transformative, and my involvement with Channel Kindness has only solidified that belief.

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Tia Spagnuolo

Tia Spagnuolo, 24, was born and raised in Wyoming, PA. She received her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Misericordia University in 2016 and currently works as a voice therapist in a private practice. She also helps to run PATAsphere, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing children a safe, supportive environment to receive state-of-the-art training in the performing arts.

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