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“BE A VOICE, NOT AN ECHO.”

 -Albert Einstein 

We all want to be successful in life, but what is success? I’ve learned we define success by following our happiness. If we are not happy with ourselves, with how and where our life is going we can’t find happiness in a career, in materialistic things and/or a relationship. Without happiness there is no drive, no passion and especially no success.

I came to this realization in 2014 when I was 24 years old. My idea was to help kid athletes in Colombia with limited resources by giving them sports equipment. The idea of believing and starting something new to me was terrifying, but at the same time it was exciting. Two years later, this idea is a registered non-profit called Game Time Foundation and it’s helped more than 400 kid athletes in Colombia.

These past five years I’ve learned to let go of what I should be doing, “pursing my career as a sports journalist”, and continue dedicating myself to help grow Game Time Foundation. Although life has surprised with unexpected opportunities to continue growing as a sports journalist in different ways.

However, I’ve realized that working on Game Time is more valuable than any other job because I’m working towards something bigger than myself. Helping others is not an easy task, but the feeling I get when I see smiles and get hugs of happiness and gratitude it makes it the highest paid job in the world.

Everything in life is sacrifice and many times I’ve felt like giving up and continue my career but in that moment I remind myself why and for whom I began this journey for. I believe the heart and soul of a philanthropist is not an easy one, because we give without expecting anything in return. However, it’s not an easy task because not everyone thinks the same and is willing to help like we are. But like this quote says:

            “Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.”

   -Katherine Henson

Even though many people confuse this or take advantage, I’ve learned that having a soft heart also makes you have a heart of steel. At the same time I’ve also learned not to change who I am and how I am with others even if I don’t receive the same in return. The most important thing in all of this process is to believe in this 100%, believe in myself and what I want to accomplish because if I don’t believe in it and I’m not in it 100% why would anyone else believe in Game Time?

Everyone has a different path in life and everyone has a story to tell, this is mine- a sports journalist turned philanthropist. Game Time Foundation has changed me in many ways and has shaped me into the Nicole I was always meant to be. I want to leave my mark, and I want that mark to be a child’s smile–one bat, one glove, one ball, one basketball, one soccer ball at a time.

Follow me on my journey of personal growth and being a voice to the unheard kid athletes of Colombia and hopefully one day be the voice of the many unheard kid athletes across the world.

❤, Nicole

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