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WM Spotlight: Irvina Karanek (Part Two)

By August 21, 2012WM spotlight

by Rachel Johnson

We’ve returned with the second part of Irvina Karanek’s Spotlight (click here to catch up on part one). Read on to learn how the founder of Rewrite Beautiful spends her free time, how she encourages readers to get involved with the organization’s work and her advice for young women interested in launching their own non-profit.

Q: It looks like you’re a writer/interviewer yourself! How often do you contribute to Rewrite Beautiful’s blog?

I try to update the blog once a week. Currently we have a series called Beautiful Girl of the Week, which is a series of young women who contribute to the world through their amazing actions! We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the blog as an attempt to inspire other women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative callings!

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time? (If you have any!)

I definitely make sure to find spare time! I am a sensitive gal and I know that if I’m not rested and enjoying life myself, I can’t help anyone find happiness in her own life. Great conversations and dinner parties make me giddy. I also love the outdoors. If I’m on a hiking trail, riding my bike, running, or pretending my neighbor’s dog is my own I am a happy camper! And when I wind down from the day, I love reading for my book club, the Gypsy Snipers.

Q: How can people get involved with Rewrite Beautiful’s work?

We would love to see people raise awareness about eating disorders by contacting someone from their local school, community groups, or church to see if they would like to partner with them in bringing a Rewrite Beautiful School Program to their area.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who would like to start their own non-profit organization?

It sounds so simple, but my advice would be to pray and listen. The way Rewrite Beautiful started was with a prayer asking God to protect the little girl I babysat from developing an eating disorder. That prayer turned into God asking me questions, like: “Irvina, what could have prevented you from having an eating disorder?” My answer was some kind of an awareness program at my school, or someone who had been through the disease telling me the signs to look for and how deadly this disease is.

Starting a non-profit was the last thing I thought I would ever do! My mom ran a non-profit and I decided early on that the same role just wasn’t for me. However, when I saw how the Rewrite Beautiful programs would take shape I could see that a non-profit was the right business model for us. It was a humbling and inspiring moment when I realized that something I had written off years ago was actually going to serve others and myself in a great way.

I suggest that you see how God can uniquely use your gifts. Then look around at other non-profits and companies and make sure they aren’t already doing what you’re hoping to accomplish. A very successful part of Rewrite Beautiful is there is no other program like it. No one uses street art to change how people see beauty in themselves. Don’t reinvent the wheel. There is a lot of pain and destruction in the world and we need people with unique, fresh and creative ideas to help with the healing.

Had you heard of Rewrite Beautiful before this WM Spotlight? How does their mission inspire you to create beauty?

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