From Thailand to Mexico, from sports to technology, from hiking mountains to surfing waves, my life has been nothing short of an interesting ride. And it’s only just begun.
I grew up in a small town called Cottage Grove, Minnesota. It resides about 30,000 people but feels more like it carries a weight of about twenty. The city can’t even keep a Famous Dave’s open.
I lived in a typical four bedroom American house with a good acre of land, but had a not-so-typical family. From the outside, we looked like a pretty normal family. Instead, the inside was an abusive household that fell through the cracks of the child services system. Without the support of my neighbors, I would not be alive.
The pain of family led to a creative mind, which prompted my start in that field. During my younger years, I would write novels for my neighbor to edit to cope with an abusive household. In high school, I would create, shoot and edit videos for class projects that eventually landed me to continue my love for film throughout college. Earlier in high school, I also began working the marketing and promotions field by taking on multiple unpaid jobs with nightclubs and bars in Minneapolis, leading me to run marketing for a bar just at the age of seventeen.
A passion for sports also grew during this time, as I would run miles and hit tennis balls to let go of the stress I was living with. Besides being outside as much as I possibly could, when I was older, I was able to begin bringing this passion of sports to the working world. I received my first job at a local ice arena and later went on to manage different high school sports teams, including the football and men’s hockey team. This love led me to pursue a degree at the University of Minnesota in Sports Management.
My passion for a sports career would not have happened if I did not go through the terrors that I went through as a child. Because of this, I was granted by the state an Independent Status Appeal, allowing me to separate myself from my immediate family and attend college. I will never be able to thank the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities enough for granting me the privilege to attend college and earn a degree with no debt.
During college, I worked my hardest to obtain the best degree that I could, averaging anywhere from twenty to twenty-seven credits per semester in both the College of Education and Human Development and Carlson School of Management. I also worked countless jobs in sports, being one of the youngest employees to work at various professional sports teams in Minneapolis. On the side of sports, I worked in the music industry for a bit, working for both large and small companies, such as Live Nation.
While working and going to school, a love for traveling the world began. I flew by myself to London and Paris at the age of eighteen and have had the travel bug since. Throughout the rest of my time in college, I traveled to London, Paris, London again for the Olympics, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, and India. It was single handedly the best investment I had made.
At the end of my college career, I continued a career with Target working in HR Retail while also carrying other jobs in technology and retail. The love for travel still did not end, and after I graduated, I planned a trip to South Africa.
After college, I continued to work the jobs I was currently at, having no desire to settle for a basic 9-5 job. It is my goal in life to be happy with the work environment that I am and to have a job that allows me to travel the world while I am still young. Months after college, I went back to school to began a personal training certification that I hope to use with family and friends, as well as in developing countries. My job also allowed me to continue learning Chinese-Mandarin and Spanish after graduation.
In the wintertime after graduation, I began writing for Elite Daily, generating articles to appeal to a mass audience of approximately 55 million people. Writing for Elite Daily led me to be published with other websites including Mogul, Thought Catalog, Fear Average, Taylor Magazine, SquadFeed, and many others. I am working on launching my first novel based off of the hardships I endured as a child and the travels around the world I have encountered.
My best friend became engaged after college, which became the inspiration to become an ordained minister for her wedding. Another friend of mine was proposing to his boyfriend when he asked me to also officiate his wedding. When I was made aware of the high ministry costs for those in the LGBTA community, I launched Liz Rae Weddings to help couples hire and affordable officiant with the same great service as those with a higher costs. It is my goal with this business to connect with couples around Minneapolis and provide this service to them, no matter what type of love they have for each other. It’s also great writing practice! So far, it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I recently won Best of 2015 Weddings from Thumbtack, which is such a honor!
Throughout the years, I have been an active donor with Kiva, and recently Kiva Zip. I am a Trustee for Kiva Zip and am looking for borrowers! To see who I lend to and to also request me as a Trustee, please visit https://zip.kiva.org/loans/i/9xvw.
I mentor Marvin, an eight year old child in Honduras, and provide for not only him, but his family, which consists of Marvin, his mother, and his two younger siblings. I also provide for Maria and her grandmother in Indonesia. She is four years old and probably the sweetest girl on earth.
I am currently volunteering with the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force in the education sector to help bring an end to children being trafficked in the state of Minnesota. To learn more about sex trafficking, please visit ww.mnhttf.org.
I am also an advocate for child abuse prevention and business development in third world countries. To be contacted about this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org