Elections are over, and the concourse has quieted down. You elected brand new officers based on promises of change, improvement, or leadership, fully expecting these promises to be fulfilled
Miss Auburn is no exception. She is elected each year based on a platform and a passion for something, and she does not abandon this passion to tend to her other duties as the official hostess of the university. She embraces new opportunities, new connections, and new resources to carry out the very platform that got her elected.
Miss Auburn 2013, Tara Jones, set a perfect example of how to use her leadership to bring her platform to life. Tara first stumbled across the fact that nearly 1 billion people in this world don’t have access to clean drinking water when she was sixteen years old. When she came to Auburn, Tara became involved with the Student Government Association and an organization called Innovative Humanitarian Products Organization (IHPO). IHPO consists of engineers that are passionate about “developing products for the developing world”. These engineers made water purifiers to send to third world countries. Tara’s marketing and grant winning efforts with this organization were helping women and children across the world.
Last spring, Tara was presented with the opportunity to run for Miss Auburn, where she saw her passion meet a greater purpose. Her team spent all of their efforts that week raising money and doing justice for the water crisis. She doubled her goal of $4,000 and gave clean water to villages most Auburn students will never even visit. Auburn students were inspired by Tara’s dreams of ending the water crisis, and elected her as Miss Auburn.
You can summarize Miss Auburn’s role in one word: influence. She influences visitors by being a positive, welcoming face has a hostess of Auburn University. She influences campus activities while serve alongside the SGA1 President and executive team. She influences faculty, administrators, and the community as an honorary member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen. Lastly, she influences freshmen in her FLP group to turn her platform into action and become great leaders.
This past summer, a new Freshmen Leadership Program group was formed- Auburn for (WATER). According to their mission statement, Auburn for (WATER) “strives to passionately and proactively serve the world around [them] by educating Auburn University about the crisis that exists regarding the scarcity of clean water.” They serve others while seeking to “humbly lead [the] community towards a bigger goal and inspire others to join [them] in living out the creed.”
The former Miss Auburn works alongside Director Mark Price and Assistant Directors Paige Serzen, Bradley Luptak, and Sarah Sawyer to lead a group of 45 freshmen. This outstanding group of freshmen went from not knowing each other at all to becoming friends working together to change the world. As the first group ever on Auburn’s campus to be completely focused on the world’s water crisis, they dove in headfirst. Under Tara’s leadership, the group spent months researching and learning about all aspects of the issue, focusing on awareness and fundraising. Ryan Brown, freshmen in Auburn for (WATER), tells about Miss Auburn’s influence on her experience. “I have always been a little shy,” she explains. “Tara has really inspired me to stand out and be a leader. She is so passionate about Auburn for (WATER)- it’s contagious!”
This week, all of their hard work is being put into action. They are partnering with Neverthirst, a nonprofit organization out of Birmingham, to raise $3,000 for a water project in India. They are out on the Haley concourse all week and want to share their passion to end the water crisis with all Auburn students.
They need your help! Stop by to learn more about the water project in India and donate what you can. You will see people with yellow jerry cans waiting to fill each can with donations. They have also visited various organizations over the past week to ask each one to fill their own jerry can and carry it to the concourse. This is a powerful reminder of the burden that millions of people carry every day.
There are three more easy ways that you can change lives during Water Week:
1. Order a t-shirt. It costs $15, and part of the proceeds goes toward the India project.
2. Eat out at Chipotle on Thursday from 5-9pm. 50% of all sales will go to this cause.
3. Donate online at http://www.neverthirstwater.org/auburnwaterweek