Headbands of Hope isn’t just selling accessories. It’s a company that is fighting to cure childhood cancer — stylishly. College students across the country are devoted to supporting the company’s mission.
After a life-changing internship, Jess Ekstrom was inspired by the courage of the young girls who were fighting cancer. Wanting to fulfill their wishes of wearing headbands instead of wigs during treatment, Jess created Headbands of Hope.
Headbands of Hope creates and sells fun and fashionable headbands. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to childhood cancer research. To date, the organization has donated over 50,000 headbands around the world. To spread the word and increase their impact, Headbands of Hope works with 65 campus representatives at over 30 universities to spread their mission.
We talked to a few of the Headbands of Hope campus representatives to learn why being a part of this organization is so special and what they’ve learned from the experience.
Interested in joining the Headbands of Hope campus team? Apply here before December 15th.
Being an ambassador for Headbands of Hope means being a part of something that is so much bigger than myself. Knowing that what I do to spread hope makes a difference in people’s lives is such a great feeling. I think that this organization’s mission is amazing, and the vision of helping to find a cure is so special.
I have learned a lot about myself as a leader and my communication skills. When I accepted this internship, I thought that I would be the one spreading hope, but the children that we work so hard to help were spreading hope into my life as well. The women of Headbands of Hope have taught me to follow my dreams and to never give up on yourself.
Kelsey Graham, Slippery Rock University
Working with Headbands of Hope has truly been a rewarding experience. It has given me a comfortable environment to grow and learn, but more importantly, to see the impact my daily tasks are making. Whether it’s selecting our Woman Crush Wednesday for the week, or learning more about a child with cancer for our monthly blog post, I’m constantly reminded of the gifts we have every day. These children are going through something I can’t even begin to imagine, so to know that my work is helping Headbands of Hope bring those smiles to their faces is an opportunity I never thought I would have at such a young age.
My experience with Headbands of Hope has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and trust the work that I produce. Everyone here is so encouraging and positive, it’s an environment that motivates you to do more than what is expected. It’s been an incredible opportunity to surround myself with such role models – they inspire me just as much as the children do!
Headbands of Hope has been a constant reminder to celebrate the people in my life every single day. Whenever it’s a difficult week, I’m likely to check my inbox and find a new picture and story about a girl that we have touched recently with a simple accessory. We have so much to be grateful for and representing this organization has a lot to show for that. I’m connected to a company that brings only good to this world, something that’s made this experience as an ambassador truly special. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Marlena Luciano, James Madison University
What isn’t special about being a campus rep for Headbands of Hope is the real question. I get the opportunity to help children across the globe by spreading awareness, selling headbands, and making both women in my community and little girls feel beautiful. Not only is that special, but everyday I make an impact and help children with cancer.
St Jude founder Danny Thomas once said “No child should die in the dawn of light” and that quote has always stuck with me. Headbands of Hope is a company that helps sick children in such an impactful way, allowing them to feel beautiful at a time when maybe they feel insecure.
From this experience I have learned that life is so much more than the day to day and to always be grateful. The everyday stress of life will pass and that we should always help and care for others in every way possible. We need to live our lives and be happy, and involve ourselves in what we are passionate about. Headbands of Hope has taught me that in a few months, and in my opinion that’s incredible.
Jessica Scanlon, Florida Gulf Coast University
My ambassadorship with Headbands of Hope has allowed me to grow in my field in ways I could not have imagined when I first started out. As an advertising major at Penn State, I’ve had the opportunity to apply my sales and brand development skills to figure out new ways to reach out to people who may not have already known about the company. In addition to social media promotion, I’m able to connect Headbands of Hope to something that Penn State students and alumni alike hold very close to their hearts: Penn State’s Dance Marathon (THON).
While Headbands of Hope has given me so much to take with me into my career, I think what has made this whole experience so rewarding is when I have the opportunity to deliver headband donations to pediatric hospitals for girls who are in their battle with cancer.
This position has taught me that hard work isn’t hard at all when it has a greater purpose, and that is really what sets this program apart from others. I can honestly say that Headbands of Hope has shown me what it’s like to have a passion for what you do, while giving me the experience I need to carry that passion on into my future endeavors.
Lauren Roth, Penn State University
The opportunity to make a difference on a child’s life, and to put a smile on their face is definitely the most special thing about being an ambassador for Headbands of Hope. Whether it is a headband donation or getting headbands into a store, I know that a kid is going to be happier because of our product.
The thing that I have learned the most through being an ambassador has definitely been sales and communication skills. I love talking to stores and hearing them get excited about headbands. Seeing headbands in a store that I contacted them has been such a rewarding feeling, because there is so much work that goes into getting it there.
Gina Jadelis, Marist College