One of my favorite people in this world is my roomate Justin Zoradi. Justin is bunking with me until he and his girl Trisha get married this August. He’s only been in the house for a month or so, but already the place has a better feel just because he is around. Justin and Trisha moved to Portland a couple years ago and started a non-profit called These Numbers Have Faces, a partnership between American micro-investors and students in South Africa. Essentially, anybody willing to invest in a student can provide a college scolarship for about $23 a month. Incredible. Just down the street at Reed, students pay nearly 40k per semester.And yet the life changing affects of a college education mean just as much in South Africa as it does here. Many of the students Justin is working with in SA are the first to attend college. If you think about it, most Americans get some kind of scholarship, you know, either from our parents or from the government or from a program that cuts us a deal. It’s awesome that Justin has provided a means for us to give back to the world in such an efficient way.
What I love about Justin is he sees a sad story in the world and rather shaking his head and declaring that life is bad simply decides to tell a better one. And he’s recruiting other people to tell the story with him. He’s doing this while working full time and attending college himself, getting his masters from Portland State. He even gives some of his time to The Mentoring Project. Amazing.
So Justin, thanks for being my roomate and for inspiring me. I was taught when I was a kid that you become like the people you hang around. If you hang around negative people, you’ll become negative, or people who see themselves as victims will create more people who see themselves as victims. Man, it’s great to hang around somebody who believes they can change the world. Blessings to you and it’s my pleasure to tell the friends who read this blog about you and Numbers.
P.S. The dishes in the dishwasher are dirty. And Lucy ate chapter three of your masters thesis.