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One Bead Project

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On November 6 in Massengill Auditorium, students were introduced to the organization “One Bead” and its creator Sara Wroblewski. About seventy-five percent of the seats in the auditorium quickly filled with students. On the table in the front of the room, there were eight T -shirts laid out that advertised the organization’s name and that were available for purchase after the presentation in order to spread awareness for the organization and what it stands for. In addition to apparel, the beads that were a part of the original project were available on bracelets and individually.

“One Bead” creates change one student, one purchase, and one bead at a time. The organization started with an opportunity for Wroblewski to go to Nairobi, Kenya in the summer of 2011 and work at Kitengela Hot Glass. This company, run by a man named Anselm, was built from the bottom up with the intention of giving back to the community. In a society such as the one they were in, however, it was difficult to support the schools with necessary material because of thievery and other obstacles. The schools in this part of Kenya needed a lot such as books, supplies and perhaps most importantly a fence to protect these things, but they also already had a lot in terms of happiness and thankfulness. Wroblewski was inspired by seeing these students and their positive attitude in spite of their difficult circumstances, and so she decided to help the glassblowing company give back and help the students have more.

The idea was to create glass beads that Wroblewski could sell back home in the United States. The first beads were large and unwieldy, but they still managed to sell all of them, and since then the beads have progressed to the ones that were for sale at Thursday’s presentation. Through advertising connections and passion, Sarah took her organization through a competition which ended up bringing “One Bead” 10,000 dollars to help grow it into something that could make a huge difference. Since then there have been major ups and downs, all overshadowed by Wroblewski’s dedication and persistence. Today, “One Bead” is a highly functional, influential, and productive company that is truly making a difference after not allowing the closed doors to stop them and taking every open door that came their way.

In the question and answer portion that followed the presentation, many asked Wroblewski about how her passion led to the success that it did. “Everyone you surround yourself with carries that spark within them, and it’s our job to light it,” she says. Everyone left the presentation inspired and empowered by her example and “One Bead’s” success.