I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

A while back, in a PRSSA Twitter chat, I remember someone mentioning using a website for collecting donations that was free.

Today I realized there is a little over two months until the PRSSA 2012 National Conference and although it is always one of the best experiences, it also an expensive one for a college student.

So I want to encourage PRSSA Chapters to set up an account at GoFundMe.

The reason I wanted to attend this Conference, before I was elected onto the National Committee, is because- and don’t think I’m being sappy- last year’s Conference changed my life.

PRSSA 2011 National Conference
PRSSA 2011 National Conference

I was going through the motions of college- taking classes, picking a major that seemed to suit me and trying to get involved. Public Relations sounded good, the job growth for the future seemed substantial and it sounded kind of fun.

I finally took my Principles of Public Relations course and after the President of PRSSA stood up asking new members to join, I immediately introduced myself to her and decided to join.

Sure, I felt a little awkward the first meeting. But I introduced myself and decided to run for the Social Media Chair position. When they announced a Conference, I knew I wasn’t going to go. It would probably cost too much money and I didn’t know if I wanted to go.

Then I decided, “Why not?” I talked to my parents and they agreed to let me go as a birthday present. My birthday wasn’t until December but for some reason I just wanted to see what was out there, beyond our Chapter. Beyond our school. I wanted to network even though I wasn’t really sure how.

Three of us went from my Chapter. We arrived early so we didn’t miss the first session about Emotional Intelligence, where we met Timothy Howard, this year’s Conference Committee‘s faculty adviser.

So many people were there and I had no idea how to “work a room” so I just started random conversations with people. When I realized everyone else was eager and still learning the industry just like me, I relaxed. I realized I was in rooms with students exactly like me who wanted to learn.

The real moment that caught me off guard was when we started the Chapter roll call. I was nervous for that as well. Let me explain how PRSSA roll call works real quick. They call out the names of the Chapters but unlike normal answers, each Chapter can sing, dance, shout their motto or answer in any form they like.

In fact, here’s a great example:


So I watched as some Chapters went all out with their crew and some had a single person who came. What astounded me and ultimately gave me faith in public relations and PRSSA especially, was when every single Chapter was cheered for. Even the ones who came alone and stood up on a chair by themselves. Everyone was cheered for.

Students were excited for other students. I was expecting lots of rolled eyes and murmuring if a Chapter hadn’t come up with something good. And I learned to have more faith in people that day. Especially my PRSSA network.

I’ll admit that out of all of the people who support me, this group of people is by far the most energetic and helpful group of friends.

That’s why I wanted to show other students and members how amazing it is to have a group like this behind you and why I ran for a leadership position. I took a gamble, and PRSSA took a gamble on electing me.

A little help can go a long way, and PRSSA Chapters can always connect with their parent Chapters in PRSA here.

I must also say that last year our parent Chapter, PRSA Houston, definitely helped me out a lot!

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past year and a special thank you to my PRSSA family. I can’t wait to see everyone again in October.

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8.18.12 UPDATE:

I updated this post to reflect helping all PRSSA Chapters with fundraising. I originally created a post to utilize a personal GoFundMe account, basically to see how it works. I realized I want the intent of the post to be about the support you get from the PRSSA network.

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