How Students Can Make a Difference
Seven Questions With Bethany Briley,
Coordinator of Student Initiatives
For 14 years, Show Hope has equipped and mobilized more than 23,000 students on college campuses, in middle and high school classrooms, and through youth ministries at churches across the U.S. Our current Student Initiative, Pause Campaign (Pause) is a break from social media where students engage devotional content designed to educate them on the needs of orphans while mobilizing them to make an impact today. We sat down with Bethany Briley, Coordinator of Student Initiatives, to learn more about Pause and how students can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children.
Q: How did you first get involved with Show Hope?
A: On my first day as a student at the University of Alabama, I was introduced to another freshman who was also from Franklin, Tennessee. Her name was Shaoey Chapman. Through my friendship with Shaoey, the daughter of Show Hope Founders Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, I was introduced to this incredible work. As a result of several relationships and experiences in life, there was always a huge part of me that desired to be involved in the work of caring for vulnerable children in some type of capacity. I’m beyond grateful that following graduation, I was blessed with the opportunity to step into this role and join the incredible team at Show Hope!
Q: What is your favorite aspect of working with students?
A: From attending student ministries as a teenager to working with students at my college church and interning with a student ministry during my summers in college, I have always loved the opportunity to do life with students. I have discovered that with students’ great energy and influence comes potential to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Your years as a student are such a special yet finite time. When students are educated and have their eyes opened to the needs of others, they hold the potential to utilize this unique time in life to create radical change that cannot only transform their own generation but can also transform generations to come.
Q: What is Pause Campaign?
A: Pause Campaign is a seven-day challenge that encourages students to put their social media on “pause” for one week and supplement that time with intentionally learning more about the needs of children who have been orphaned, both domestically and internationally. Our hope is that by providing devotional and educational content, accompanied by space for prayerful reflection, Pause will serve as a catalyst for students considering how they may become involved in making a difference in the lives of others.
Q: Why social media?
A: As a student, I remember wanting to make a difference in the lives of others but feeling like I just didn’t have the time. Then, I discovered how to check my daily screen time. I quickly realized I not only had time but also had a choice. We each get to choose how we spend our 1,440 minutes a day. While checking Instagram stories and scrolling on TikTok often appeals as a way to escape and de-stress, social media also tends to make us less empathetic toward others and their needs. Committing to “pause” from social media for one week allows you the opportunity to reset the way you allocate your 1,440 minutes. During this time, daily habits of scrolling can be rewired to become minutes of praying for orphans and vulnerable children around the world. Pausing from social media gives you the time to read through the Pause Campaign devotional and educate yourself on the great need and what you can do to stand in the gap for children who are vulnerable.
Q: What do you look for in a Pause leader?
A: Pause Campaign leaders can be students themselves or anyone with connections to groups of students such as teachers, coaches, youth pastors, parents, or mentors. Great Pause leaders are passionate about helping others, willing to encourage others during the week of the campaign, and eager to help promote more education and mobilization for orphan care and adoption advocacy.
Q: How do prospective Pause Campaign leaders get started?
A: First, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started. Next, recruit a group of students to go through the campaign together. Then, we will send you a Pause Campaign kit with all materials and resources you need!
Q: What can students do now to make an impact in orphan care?
A: First, students can pray. Four specific groups that we ask students to pray for are waiting children, waiting families, children’s services workers, and biological families. We also ask that students pray that God would continue to bless the work of Show Hope and open doors of opportunity to better serve vulnerable children and families.
Next, students can educate themselves and others. A popular quote from Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” Through opportunities like Pause Campaign, students have the opportunity to educate themselves and their peers on the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
Next, students can serve. By wrapping around foster and adoptive families within your community, you can help support the families’ various needs and provide encouragement.
Finally, students can give. By taking on part-time jobs, creating fundraisers, or donating their birthdays, students can help raise funds for Show Hope that go to directly help children and families through our Adoption Aid and Medical Care grants. While the need may be great, our hope is still greater.
Students, how can you leverage your current season of life to stand in the gap to make a difference and spread a message of love and hope?
Visit showhope.org/pause for more information.