My Real Drive

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So by now I’ve shed some light on a few aspects of my life with you all; my passion for film and filmmaking, love of music (U2), joy for reading, and more than a bit of my ever-changing philosophy on life. What I have for the most part left in the shadows is my drive for activism; to make a difference in this world. It has become a core part of who I am and I feel very much obliged and fortunate to share it with you.

At the risk of sounding self-indulgent, I could and probably will write a book about all my experiences with activism someday. Mostly because it still is all a bit of a shock to me. For now though, I’ll spare you and keep the story abbreviated 🙂

It started in 2005, totally out of left in the field that is my life. I didn’t find the cause, it found me – at where else but a U2 concert. It was there that Bono planted the seeds in a speech he gave about our generation’s opportunity and his ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History. The cause dug in further and spread its roots when I began a research project of my choosing about ending poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The research project resulted in this video (// More people need to know that 30,000 children are dying today needlessly, because of extreme poverty; that we can save all of them. The cause became so inescapable that I felt absolutely compelled to start a chapter of the ONE Campaign at Curry College. Just starting my Sophomore year, doing full-time courses, as a commuter who worked 20 hours per week, being involved with a club totally was not in the plans. Once again though, I had no control of “the plans.”

Today I can honestly say among so much work at Curry that I am very proud of, ONE Curry is at the very, very top. In three years time our club raised over $11,000 to build a well in Sudan, Africa – to provide clean water for a village where one of our club members, Peter Nhiany, was born. The well will be built in 2010 and it will stand as a monument to the difference a few compassionate and committed people can make in this world.

Equally as important has been our ability to spread awareness to the population at Curry College and beyond. As one of my final endeavors as President of the club, we embarked on our “Rock the Change Tour” just this past spring. I can happily share this project with you via video. It is without a doubt one of the greatest things I’ve done as both an activist and a filmmaker. As young activists we planned this tour in only one week and executed it in only 5 days. As a filmmaker and as a labor of love, I spent 36 hours (minus 2 hours of sleep) editing our 5 hours of footage down to a 14 minute powerhouse. I hope this video will share with you my real drive:

ONE Curry was selected as on of the top 10 ONE Campuses in the country and was given $1,000 from the ONE Campaign to create a project and compete against the 9 other campuses to win the #1 spot! During their Rock the Change Tour, ONE Curry rocked an elementary school, an elderly housing facility and their own campus.



Author: John Abdulla

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  1. John:
    So proud of all you have done. I love the video! Having the group of you go to St. Mary's was so wonderful. I loved seeing current students inspiring former students at such a young age. Your passion to do for others and the impact you have on all around you can never be truly measured. You are a role model to all of us on so many levels.
    Always reading…always praying…
    Prof. Sinnott

  2. I'm so very proud of you as well. Your drive and self-determination will get you very far in life. I can't wait to read that book. You've inspired me and so many others! You are so right about us being able to help out and do so much more than we are now. Congratulations on starting the ONE Campaign at Curry. You've accomplished so much and I'm so incredibly proud to say that you are my brother! =)
    Love always,

  3. Finally my time to post! WOW! That video was AMAZING… I had tears in my eyes the whole time. I remember you working on that – I never knew the outcome.

    I'm so proud of you – for everything you've done, for everything you've been though and accomplished, and for everything I know you will complete in the future!

    This really is your life! And I can't wait to read your book (as much as we all know how much I love to read!?! HUH!!!)…… You're an amazing and inspirational person! Congratz on winning the $1,000. I hope ONE Curry ends up winning the #1 spot – your amazing work has not only affected the last 3 years of your life, but only God knows how many other peoples for the future to come!


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